The company was originally called Index Publications (Pty) Ltd and was established by Mr. Harold David Joffe in 1950, with the first edition of Ezee-Dex being published in 1951.
Ezee-Dex was designed as a card-index reference system of suppliers of equipment and products for mines and industry, and the product groupings were based on a stores system called the "Department of Mines Stores Return MD 272", which had been developed by the Chamber of Mines. Copies of the Ezee-Dex were sold to the buyers and engineers on the mines, and the distribution was 1 000 copies per annum.
Mr. Des Heath bought the company in August 1967, and continued to expand the number of supplier companies and their products and services. In 1972 Ezee-Dex merged with Tirandata (Pty) Ltd, a specialist company providing an electronic tender service.
Moving back into the mining head office sector of Johannesburg, and operating under the new name Ezee-Dex Tirandata, the company consolidated its position as not only the leader of products supplier information, but also the leader in the processing all the buying enquiries and tenders that, at the time, were issued daily by the major mines, corporations and government institutions.
The first major upgrade was the introduction in 1980 of a product brochure section to the book, which enabled Ezee-Dex to provide an invaluable link for all the products in the index section to a colour page, providing and illustrating much more information on the supplier company than was available previously. The first edition of this all new Ezee-Dex in book form was published and printed in full colour. Copies of the new Ezee-Dex with substantially more information than ever before, were made available to buyers and engineers at no charge.
However, in order to get copies, the companies were required to supply the names and positions of all the personnel wanting an Ezee-Dex. This was a major move in not only increasing the distribution but also in accounting to the advertisers with the name and position of every buyer and engineer receiving a copy of Ezee-Dex. A Distribution List is still produced each year and is supplied to each advertiser accounting exactly for each and every copy. Today it is produced in pdf format on a disc and lists the details of the
11 500 recipients who receive the Ezee-Dex delivered by hand.
Publishing in book form is always limited by the number of pages the book contains before the size of the book becomes unmanageable. In 1978 Ezee-Dex had started capturing and storing the product data on its mini computer system, which had originally been purchased to process and print the tender information. However, at the time, there was no other way of delivering the product data to the user, other than in book form.
By 1992, Ezee-Dex had come across a new transportable data storage disc called cd-rom. At this stage no cd-rom discs had been produced in South Africa, but the benefits and opportunities for Ezee-Dex were so great that in co-operation with EMI SA, the first cd-rom discs were pressed at the EMI facility in Wales.
This single event changed the direction of Ezee-Dex for the first time in some 40 years. Up till this point, all company and product data had been generated from paid advertisers only, because of the limitation of the number of pages available in book form. However, a single cd-rom disc could accommodate the data and pictures of hundreds of books. Because there was now virtually no limitation on storage space available, Ezee-Dex created a research department that would now establish the products and services provided by companies, at no charge to the companies.
This has enabled Ezee-Dex to expand the supplier database on the cd-rom system from 600 companies, to over 60 000 companies with more than 350 000 products and brands; and 200 000 contact names which makes the EZEE-DEX SUPPLIER DATABASE & PROCUREMENT SYSTEM way and above the largest supplier database of products, services and brand names in South Africa.
At the same time there was an overwhelming growth of the Internet, and in 1998 Ezee-Dex developed a specialised product search engine on the Internet, essentially creating an electronic Ezee-Dex, with
46 000 visits recorded every month from buyers and engineers from South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa using our search engine to source suppliers.
Ezee-Dex has been able to use technology to continually add value to the information available on the EZEE-DEX SUPPLIER DATABASE & PROCUREMENT SYSTEM. With the need for companies to increase their spend with B-BBEE companies, we have researched and integrated this information into the database, enabling buyers to always have alternative B-BBEE suppliers available. In order to give more impetus to the information B-BBEE certificates and tax clearance certificates have been added to the document library. This technology has also been used to offer companies unique information for the management and rationalization and their vendors. This has proved to be an invaluable benefit in ensuring that vendor data integrity is maintained, and ensuring compliance of a Company's vendor policies. Each year companies spend millions of rands accessing the data on the EZEE-DEX SUPPLIER DATABASE & PROCUREMENT SYSTEM, either on their network or online.
Most of South Africa's major mines and industries subscribe and use this massive supplier database and purchasing system, whether via the EZEE-DEX SUPPLIER DATABASE & PROCUREMENT SYSTEM or the Ezee-Dex ONLINE System (www.edex.co.za). Our user sites include such diverse companies as Anglo Coal, Anglo Platinum, BHP Billiton, Consol Glass, De Beers, Eskom, Foskor, Kumba Iron Ore, Lafarge SA, Mintek, Samancor, and Sasol.
In 2010 Mr. Des Heath passed away and Mrs. Cathrin Heath, his wife who had worked side by side with her husband for 20 years, took over the running of the Company.
Today Ezee-Dex Industrial Procurement Services (Pty) Ltd generates income from advertisers who pay to appear on our Industrial Search Engine at www.edx.co.za, as well income by paid subscription to our database of 60 000 Companies and 350 000 Brands Services and Products, on the EZEE-DEX SUPPLIER DATABASE & PROCUREMENT SYSTEM and www.edex.co.za.
At present Ezee-Dex employs a staff complement of 55 people, and has offices in Wynberg, Sandton, as well as offices in Durban, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth.
We have the resources, the knowledge, the technology and the will power to continue to provide a world class procurement service to the mines and industries in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.