2019 Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards: Meet the winners

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    Supplier development is becoming an increasingly important strategy for many corporates, not only from a scorecard compliance perspective, but also as a means of growing the economy and increasing job opportunities. The Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards recognise companies who are making significant strides in their supplier development initiatives by acknowledging those who go beyond the scorecard, fostering learning, showcasing best practice and encouraging collaboration.

    This year’s winners were announced recently at an event held at The Empire Conference and Events Venue in Johannesburg. The overall winner was Distell Group. The company clearly stood out as an overall leader in the supplier development arena, said Catherine Wijnberg, director at Fetola, taking on board lessons from 2018 and improving on their metrics.

    Catherine said: “Distell’s Enterprise and Supplier Development drive speaks to their bold vision of creating value to enrich the lives of our people, shareholders, and the communities that they work and live in. It shows their genuine commitment to building and diversifying their supplier base, with efforts that extend well beyond the scorecard. Distell are actively pursuing higher levels of innovation, efficiency opportunities and value partnerships, and are well justified the title of Overall Winner.”

    Other winners included Exxaro Resources who clinched the Newcomer Award. This award acknowledges companies that have recently initiated supplier development programmes. The winner, revealed Wijnberg, blew the judges away with a bold and inclusive programme.

    The Collaboration Award was awarded to South African Breweries for recognising the importance of industry relationships and cross-sector collaboration for the benefit of the wider ecosystem.

    The Nation Builder Award was awarded to Accenture for achieving exceptional results in supporting and growing non-traditional suppliers especially youth, black women, rural areas or areas with few alternative opportunities. Accenture, revealed Wijnberg, was doing good work at scale in three of these areas.

    The Impact Award went to Property Point, a Growthpoint initiative, whose supplier development initiatives impacted substantially on the value chain and were effective in the return on investment or efficiency of impact or scale of impact.

    The local manufacturing and Small Supplier Award went to Macsteel for its success in developing an ecosystem of small suppliers, manufacturers or value-added services and products from the local industry.

    In a keynote address Vusi Fele, Chief Procurement Officer at Absa Group said that while the number of SMMEs in the country was increasing, supply chain and supplier development practitioners needed to maximise the economic development benefits flowing from foreign direct investment as well as local funding to ignite SMME growth. How and where procurement budgets were spent had a significant socio-economic impact.

    Economic futurist, Marius Oosthuizen offered five strategic take-outs for supplier development. Firstly, a short-term focus would result in skewed and unsustainable market structures. Secondly, he pointed to massive opportunities in infrastructure and primary industries. Thirdly, he said navigating politics and partnerships needed to be a strategic skill. Fourthly, human capital and skills development in design, general management and project management would be at a premium; and lastly, he pointed to the prospect of supplier development creating a business culture revolution which unlocked a wave of entrepreneurship in the country. “We can no longer wait to be saved,” he said.

    Charles Wyeth, ESD manager at Distell agreed that creating wealth had to be a priority in any successful supplier development programme. He also said successful programmes relied on having a driver at the top and getting buy-in from everybody. Wyeth stressed the need for supplier development to move beyond the scorecard.