Transforming Your Supply Chain

By Catherine Wijnberg

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One of the biggest challenges that South African companies face today is the pressure to transform their supply chain. The dual need to balance efficiency and cost-effectiveness with transformation is challenging enough. Yet doing so in a downward economy, and under time pressure, is for many almost too hard to contemplate.

Yet succeed we must. Not only to comply with the BEE scorecard (and to avoid potential punitive action), but also because we need to make real progress in advancing inclusive economic growth in the country.

Once committed and enthusiastic SMEs have been recruited, the journey to improve their skills, raise capacity levels and improve quality standards can begin. As anyone with supply chain transformation experience knows, business growth can definitely be accelerated with professional support, but miracles should not be expected overnight, or without effort and investment.

Growing enterprises need three things – professional support (mentoring, skills transfer, leadership training and the like); access to markets (to ensure independent growth, diversification of risk and business resilience); and access to growth finance (working and expansion capital).

Professional growth specialists with experience in the field of enterprise and supplier development can provide access to databases from which accredited SMEs can be confidently selected, and if needed, provide due diligence reports against which to match the solutions needed to accelerate their capacity, quality and reliability.

At Fetola for example, in response to repeated requests from companies looking for qualified and empowered suppliers, we recently created a Preferred Supplier list of SMEs at different levels of ability, nationally and in all sectors – from printing, graphic and videography, to engineering, architecture and built environment solutions, hospitality, organic farming and many other areas. We also offer bespoke solutions, including the recruitment of specific groups of SMEs, due-diligence and performance rating, skills-training, mentoring and a complete suite of supplier development services.

Transforming your supply chain is by its nature a challenging process. However, if done correctly and in the right spirit the rewards are great, not just for your company but for the nation as a whole.

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For more information about Fetola’s Supplier Development programmes, please contact Busisiwe Bebeza at bbebeza@fetola.co.zaor 086 111 1690.