Supplier Partnerships

How to get buy-in for sustainable procurement

DeFariaLopes_Marais_150.pngBy Bárbara de Faria Lopes, Sustainability Consultant, IQbusiness, and
Christelle Marais, Sustainability Lead, IQbusiness

Financial factors are no longer the only consideration for businesses. Governments, investors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and society at large are increasingly holding companies accountable for their social and environmental impact. Organisations, therefore, need to identify and address sustainability risks within their own operations and supply chains. Sustainable supply chains require the implementation of sustainable procurement (SP) practices or the joint consideration of social, environmental and economic factors in an organisation's purchasing behaviour as well as supplier engagement.

The uptake of SP within South Africa and the broader African continent, unfortunately, appears to be lagging behind developed economies. To drive a change in procurement behaviour requires awareness, buy-in and a compelling business case. Here are five principles to achieving this:

How to diversify your suppliers

Will_Green_100.jpgBy Will Green

The need for greater diversity has finally reached beyond staff and hit the company purse strings. Supply Management takes a look at why you should up your supplier diversity and how to go about it.

Sales trends for 2021: procurement needs to be solutions salespeople too


"One of the sales trends for 2021 is procurement needs to be solutions salespeople too," says By Sue Barrett, Founder and CEO of and

Times are, indeed, changing with the procurement function becoming increasingly important as a conduit, an orchestrator if you will, for the co-creation of value with suppliers and internal stakeholders as well as right down the value chain to end-consumers and back again.

Procurement can no longer rest its case on 'lowest cost', 'cheapest price' or 'supply of goods and services'; it must assume responsibility for the creation and delivery of real value beyond price and general supply.

This sales trend highlights how the skills, knowledge and mindset of procurement professionals are being expanded to include the capabilities of highly-competent solutions sales professionals.

Innovation is not about what you control, but what you can access: the procurement view

Bertrand_Maltaverne.jpegBy Bertrand Maltaverne

The secret sauce for innovation...

The secret sauce is secret because innovation itself and conditions that foster it are, both, quite complex topics that I will not dare to address in their entirety. However, the fact that innovation constitutes a competitive advantage and is a condition for survival is not a secret; many companies learned it the hard way. Therefore the motto "innovate or die" is, more than ever, a critical one. And, organizations are not "too big to fail." No organization is immune to the VUCA (Volatile, Unpredictable, Complex and Ambiguous) world we live in.

5 LEAPs towards successful ESD programmes

ESD_200.jpgInitiating an enterprise and supplier development (ESD) programme is not something to rush into. It is a process that will achieve very little for everyone involved if it is not carefully planned, aligned with coherent business and supply chain strategies, and rolled out to candidates that have true potential.

Lean enterprise acceleration programmes (LEAP) has for more than ten years provided strategic and comprehensive ESD advisory to corporates as well as provided tailor-made support services to small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

LEAP seeks to create lasting impact by observing five main principles. We take a look at the five LEAPs in this month's SmartProcurement.

Understanding and managing IT vendor relationships: do they matter?

Gunarathna_Koneru_200.pngBy Tiran Gunarathna, Senior IT Category Lead, Infosys Business Process Management; and
SriKrishna Koneru, AVP - Strategic Business Practice Head, Sourcing and Procurement, Infosys Business Process Management

We often hear about vendor management in sourcing and procurement organisations, but how frequently do we talk about vendor relationship management? Are they the same or are they different?

Coronavirus has exposed just how delicate our procurement eco-system really is

IanThompson_100.jpgDo we need to fundamentally re-imagine what our procurement eco-system looks like? Ian Thompson, Regional Head at Ivalua, thinks so and here is why...

Prepare and adjust your supply chain for coronavirus

JamesRice.jpgBy James B. Rice, Deputy Director, MIT Centre for Transportation and Logistics

Developing a clear supply chain response to the coronavirus outbreak is extremely challenging, given the scale of the crisis and the rate at which it is evolving.

The best response, of course, is to be ready before such a crisis hits, since options become more limited when a disruption is in full swing. However, there are measures that can be taken now even if you are not fully prepared. And although its long-term consequences have yet to fully play out, the coronavirus outbreak already provides some lessons about how you can better prepare your company to deal with future large-scale crises.

SMME clinic | Pandemic proof your business - part 1

Smart Procurement World and its partners are joining forces to share insights and to help SMMEs during this challenging time.



SMME clinic | Pandemic proof your business - part 2

Elmarie Goosen flips things around and interviews Smart Procurement COO, Debbie Tagg on how Smart Procurement itself is addressing the pandemic and supporting small business.



How to partner with SMEs for success

How to build superior supplier relationships like Honda

MatthiasGutzmann_100.jpgMuch has been said about Japanese automakers and their ability to build close ties with their suppliers. However, in times in which the gap between strategic suppliers and all others is becoming even bigger, and strategic suppliers that will have a much greater influence on a company's growth agenda, it is worth re-examining what companies like Honda and Toyota are doing right when it comes to turning their suppliers into profit machines and what others can learn from them.

With 60%-80% of total organisational revenue spend now lying with a few strategic suppliers in many companies, the need for alignment, collaboration and joint problem-solving has never been more critical than today.

Matthias Gutzmann, Founder of Digital Procurement World, takes a look.

How to conduct a supplier review: a case study

FrancisChurchill_100.jpgBy Francis Churchill

In 2017, Vitality, a UK health insurance firm, decided to do a 360-degree review of its supply chain. The firm, part of Discovery Limited, had recently restructured and rebranded, and wanted to have a clear idea of what its relationships with suppliers were like.

Sourcing and supplier managers Duncan Campbell-Marsh, Frances Cooke and Chris Wilson sent out surveys throughout the organisation as well as to its suppliers, asking about activity between Vitality and its suppliers. "The whole point of it is that they have to be honest, otherwise we are not going to achieve anything from carrying out the survey", says Campbell-Marsh.

10 Best practices for procurement managers in 2020

LindaAshok_100.jpgBy Linda Ashok
A content, communications and branding professional

So many things are slated to change in 2020, the milestone year! But what matters most is your career; how is it going to prepare you as a procurement manager? Okay, let me clarify that there isn't any significant difference between a Purchasing or Procurement Manager. Of course, you know it because you are in the procurement arena already.

Typically, a procurement manager's job description entails the following:
• Partner with the category teams and leaders in developing and implementing strategies to drive significant value from the supplier base
• Conduct in-depth research on existing and emerging trends, identifying new technology/solutions, screening potential new suppliers, and performing complex analytical studies
• Manage relationships with key suppliers, developing negotiation strategies, and conducting negotiatio
• Lead critical process improvement projects and drive higher value for the operating companies.
• Consult internal functional areas such as marketing, R&D, operations, logistics, legal, and corporate functions

With such expectations in mind, an aspiring procurement manager must possess modern skillsets that organizations will seek in 2020. In this article, we cover both the elementary and advanced expectations from the role of a procurement manager.

Abusive compliance practices hurt retailers and their suppliers

KateVitasek_100.jpgVendor compliance programs have become a major roadblock to retail store success. But who is to blame? Retailers and suppliers point that finger at each other. One expert says there is a "state of chaos" with retailer vendor compliance programs for both bricks-and-mortar and online stores.

A Supply Chain Digest Retail-Vendor Benchmark Study does not hold back, asserting, "To state the current business environment is a challenging one for both retailers and manufacturers is putting it mildly." Consultant and author Norman Katz of Katzscan Inc. is more harsh in a stinging critique of retailer vendor compliance practices in his recent Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement (Vol. 1 - No. 3) article titled "How Abusive Vendor Compliance Programs are Affecting Retail Store Success."

Kate Vitasek, Professor in Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee, unpacks the effects of vendor compliance practices used by Retailers.

'ESD programmes not relevant and funding remains a problem' say entrepreneurs

LouisaPaulsen.jpgThe SEED Engine is currently running its annual The Real State of Entrepreneurship Survey. In 2018, more than 1 500 entrepreneurs participated in the survey. The survey findings were enlightening, but not unexpected: enterprise supplier development (ESD) programmes that are intended to assist entrepreneurs are proving to be of little value to the majority of entrepreneurs, many of whom attend several per annum with a view to access purchase orders.

While ESD programmes are sending entrepreneurs back to school, many indicated that the programmes are not addressing the specific needs of their businesses.

Procurement contracts are turning entrepreneurs away as contracts are often not split or designed to accommodate smaller role players in sectors.

Entrepreneurs further flagged corruption among procurement personnel as a serious and growing issue, one that is adding to the cost of doing business.

Louise Paulsen, a consultant, advisor, director and mentor in localisation and enterprise development, highlights the main issues from the 2018 survey.

Join us at Smart Procurement World Gauteng, where a panel discussion entitled 'Reducing the SMME Mortality Rate' will unpack the development of effective exit strategies for SMMEs that have completed corporate ESD programmes. >>

10 things that I have learnt about mentoring Anzisha fellows

Louise1_125.jpgProcurement and supply chain professionals have such a broad range of skills and cross-functional business knowledge that it makes us all ideal mentors. Mentors share their professional knowledge/experiences and act as positive role models to mentees in need of some direction.

This is especially true when engaging with suppliers and mentoring young entrepreneurs partaking in enterprise supplier development (ESD) programmes. Small South African businesses are in desperate need of will take some time and commitment, but the results are extremely rewarding.

Louise Paulsen, Consultant, Advisor, Director and Mentor in localisation and enterprise development shares what she has learnt while mentoring Anzisha Prize fellows remotely. The Anzisha Program is a partnership between the African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation; it seeks to increase the number of entrepreneurs generating jobs in Africa.

Don't treat your employees like suppliers

KateVitasek_100.jpgThe war for talent is 20 years strong and has changed the way companies recruit and retain talented employees. While great strides have been made in how companies treat employees, many are still in the dark ages when it comes to how they treat their suppliers.

Just how backwards? Well, what would happen if employees were treated like suppliers are every day? This is the question posed by Tennessee University Professor in Supply Chain Management, Kate Vitasek.



Career opportunites

Procurement Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Job purpose We are looking for a Procurement

Fresh Demand Planner/Supply Chain Analyst

  • Analyst Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain Western Cape
(Jnr - Mid Level), Supply Chain Planning, Based

Groceries Demand Planner/Supply Chain Analyst

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(Mid Level) Supply Chain Planning, Based at Kenilworth,

Category Implementation Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management Supply Chain
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Head of Procurement

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Regional Sourcing Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Procurement Director

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As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Procurement Specialist

  • >500 000 Buyer Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
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Senior Sourcing Manager

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Indirect Sourcing Programme Manager

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Deputy Chief Commercial Officer

  • >500 000 Contract Gauteng Procurement Management Supplier / Business Development
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing


  • Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supplier / Business Development
Operating out of Johannesburg, this is a key

Tutor and Coordinator

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Purpose of the job: To plan, coach, advise

Commodity Manager

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Are you a Commodity Manager looking for the

Supply Chain Professional

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I specialize in placing professionals in the Supply

Supply Planning

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Seeking dynamic candidates to take to the market

Industrial Engineer

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Are you an Industrial Engineer looking to make

Logistics Manager

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Seeking vibrant industry specific individuals seeking new opportunities

Operations Manager

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Looking for an Operations Manager to take into

Supply Chain Systems Administrator

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One of South Africa's leading, mining companies is