Top Articles

4 critical approaches to ESD

ESD, like any crucial business initiative, needs senior support, goals, performance measurement and evaluation

By Stuart Townshend

It has been roughly ten years since Enterprise and Supplier Development (E&SD) and Preferential Procurement (PP) were introduced into the business landscape. It has been a time of growth, with many milestones along the way as well as many great lessons, thus it is important to reflect on and stay in touch with the current key challenges faced by corporate E&SD and PP practitioners.

7 ways to kill your SMME supplier

By Atul Padalkar

I have seen many small businesses struggle.

The many years that I spent in the corporate world, as well as the last decade toiling on the front line with small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs), has helped me to identify a distinct pattern of what happens when SMMEs work with corporates.

A framework for developing SCM professionals

By Ingrid du Buisson

South Africa currently ranks 61st out of 137 countries within the 2017/2018 Global Competitive Index (World Economic Forum, 2017). One of the Index's main critiques against the country is its inadequately educated workforce, which re-affirms the critical role of education and skills development.

Adapt to survive and thrive

Essential skills for modern procurement teams

By Privesan Naidoo

Technological advances in the procurement industry will result in automating even the most complicated processes in the near future, which will save time and free up resources to unlock new opportunities. With these advances there will be less emphasis on hard skills, but there will be a shortage of soft skills, which will become more and more relevant. Procurement professionals will thus increasingly need to master soft skills to ensure a long-term career.

Africa's "digital laggards" must embrace digitalisation or risk being irrelevant

By Mluleki Ntlemeza

South Africa is the 49th country to agree to the creation of the world's biggest free trade area. The country signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in July 2018.

Blockchain an important tool for procurement to establish trust

By Bertrand Malterverne

Blockchain is almost everywhere and is getting a lot of hype. It is largely because blockchain is the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, a digital currency (a.k.a. a cryptocurrency) that received a lot of coverage in the media. In the wake of the cryptocurrency craze, blockchain has continued to attract more and more attention.

Corruption and collusion: lessons from Africa

By Elaine Porteous

Corruption is not unique to Africa, nor is it a new problem. However, Africa is perceived as the most corrupt region in the world as well as the most under-developed. Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. There is no simple solution. There have been numerous academic studies and notable interventions by such institutions as the World Bank, the United Nations and the Norwegian Government, but progress remains agonisingly slow.

Dance of the African strategist - a cure for intellectual laziness

By Morne Mostert

Africa is deeply dichotomous. This reality confronts any procurement leader when addressing the question of African distinctiveness in the process of long-term strategic decision-making.

Don't let digital transformation become a meaningless buzzword

By Chris Wood

If you are using technology to radically transform your business, you understand the mechanics of digital transformation. Digital transformation is predicted to fundamentally change how procurement services are delivered in the next three to five years, with artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, blockchain, the Internet of Things and 3D-printing being just some of the new and powerful tools available to purchasing and procurement teams.

Five rules for highly strategic supplier relationships

By Kate Vitasek

Achieving real and productive collaboration between your business and its procurement partners requires a framework for designing and implementing long-term relationships based on innovation and achieving mutual goals.

Fraud and corruption: how to catch a fraudster

By Steven Powell

Every organisation is susceptible to fraud, but some are more susceptible than others. This article provides an overview of the profile of a typical fraudster to help readers identify fraudsters operating in a business.

From under finance's wing to a seat in the boardroom: how procurement has and must continue to change

By Joe Rabolao

Procurement's ambition as an organisational function is aimed at earning importance and influence within organisations. Procurement wants to be trusted and given a platform to deliver. However, this requires an acceleration of organisational maturity towards procurement as a function.

Future economic growth: SMEs need to make it easy for large businesses to work with them

By Colette Crichton

Legislation for black economic empowerment (BEE) measurement has been around for well over a decade, having had a major overhaul and numerous nips and tucks since 2007.

Harnessing technology to change the future of procurement

By Jigyasa Kishore

Technology is transforming the role of procurement from a cost centre to a profit centre. The latest technologies, such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and e-Marketplaces, can transform every aspect of the procurement process: from warehousing, sourcing, contract negotiation, vendor selection to payment.

How to attract the right talent to procurement

By Shiraz Sarang

'I've always dreamt of being a procurement expert' is not something you will often hear promising young graduates in South Africa say.

Procurement is not a glamourous career option that gets students or parents excited. People tend to think of procurement as a boring, rules-based career that will require them to enforce strict policies. They are under the impression that they won't be able to make a meaningful impact on society and that their individuality will be stifled.

Ineffective ESD is a consequence of misaligned government empowerment policies

By Marcus Ambe & Sibongile Shongwe

Various scholars have offered reasons as to why small businesses, even enterprise and supplier development (ESD) beneficiaries, fail: a lack of finance, access to opportunities, skills, etc. However, the South African government has various programmes that address these issues, including incubator programmes. Why is it then that ESD is not effective within public institutions when transformation policies are legislated?

Infrastructure procurement and delivery reform implications: a municipal perspective

By Nothando Bizana

Infrastructure development is universally considered one of three key parts of the foundation on which to build an economy. The quantum of global infrastructure investment is testament to the existence of a direct correlation between increased infrastructure investment and socio-economic growth.

Innovating in teaching contracting skills: learning by doing

By Kate Vitasek

In the companion piece about the Vested business model, I described it as a progressive and collaborative way for buyers and sellers to achieve long-term win-win relationships based on shared-value principles.

Innovative tech trends put procurement back in the driver seat

By Nicole Adonis

From virtual chatbots capable of answering online queries and technologies that can generate smart data to advancements in blockchain, technology is shaking up the process of buying travel.

Preserving the 'art' of procurement through formalised mentoring and coaching programmes

By Ian Hendry

Present-day procurement is part science, part art.

The 'science' of procurement, although challenging, can be learned quite easily from education institutions. However, the 'art' of making procurement work for a specific company is not as easily acquired at university. Unfortunately, this aspect of procurement is often overlooked.

Regulation of Procurement in South Africa

By Garyth Hart

Suppliers are sometimes approached to provide goods and services to government without an official order form. These requests are often conveyed by way of 'official' correspondence that indicates that due to 'technical', financial or other challenges the department is unable to issue an order form.

Remove board members from the procurement process: three cheers for the State of the Nation Address!

By Kamogelo Mampane

All procurement officials should welcome the announcement that board members will be taken out of the procurement process.

Ideally, board members should never be part of the operations of the companies that they serve. Their role should be in line with the Companies Act and other guides (such as the King Reports on Corporate Governance) - their role being predominantly an oversight function.

The change to supply chain 4.0 must be managed: are we doing it right?

By Ndabeni Bagosi

As companies embrace opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), many are moving towards digitalising their processes. The question is: are they doing it right?

The role of procurement in moving enterprise and supplier development from transactional to strategic

By Sabin Musinde

The enterprise and supplier development (ESD) pillar of supply chain management aims to create an economic environment favourable to black-owned businesses and small businesses in particular, providing them with not only financial and non-financial support, but also with access to market through preferential procurement.

The supply chain as strategic funding mechanism

By Fred Steyl

One of the greatest challenges that small-, medium- and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) face today is access to finance to fund their working capital needs.

Owing to structural issues, banks are hesitant to lend to SMMEs, while government-sponsored agencies routinely fail to achieve the scale required to make in-roads into the SMME funding mandate.

To change procurement's processes requires a leader that directs and drives

By Benneth Machaba

Procurement transformation refers to significant change in organisational procurement processes and strategies in order to realise value and efficiency as well as to ensure sustainability. The time for procurement to be viewed as a core business unit, as opposed to a support unit, is now.

Transform your procurement and supply chain by building the capability of your people

By Bernd Schulz & Jonathan Hughes

If your organisation wants to transform its procurement and supply chain to drive organisational goals and to deliver value, focussing on enhancing the capability of its people is a sound investment.

Vendor B-BBEE fraud: a growing concern for CPOs

By Schalk van der Merwe

South African Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) are often tasked to oversee the transformation of procurement spend at a near-impossible speed. This creates a pressure that is only equalled by the pressure that certain vendors find themselves under to improve their Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) credentials for these more demanding procurement requirements. In a scenario where pressure from both sides of the equation is towards bending the rules, taking for granted vendor integrity and governance may have severe consequences for CPOs.

What does blockchain technology mean for the procurement industry?

By Lee Pruitt

It's easy to treat new technologies with a degree of scepticism. After an initial wave of excitement and expectation - accompanied, invariably, by many botched rollouts and extended implementations - many of these supposedly game-changing advances become bitter disappointments.

Where are all the great procurement jobs?

By Elaine Porteous

Looking for a new procurement job? The good news is that there is a whole load available and they are yours for the just need to broaden your vision!

Why you need a digital procurement strategy, now

By Malcolm Farrell

The digital revolution is underway. The question is: are you ready for it?

It is no secret that digitisation and rapid improvements in technology are revolutionising the way companies do business. Digital disruption affects companies across all industries and within every department. Procurement is no different.