Gauteng Roadshow: The future drivers of South African Procurement

22 Sep Road show Gauteng Lead.jpgA diverse group of over 60 Procurement professionals and representatives of the supply-side were hosted by Commerce Edge in Centurion on September 22 for a breakfast session to network and exchange ideas on the latest thinking that is influencing the future trends in supply management.

Bernie van Niekerk, CE of the Commerce Edge, the accredited P & SM Training Provider, welcomed guests to the public forum and invited all present to take part in the presentations to ensure an open debate. With van Niekerk at the podium was SmartProcurement business associate, Alan Low, MD of local benchmarking specialists, Purchasing Index.

The basis for the morning’s discussion was recent research conducted by the Centre for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS), A.T. Kearney and the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), in which researchers have proposed seven key strategies for success in the future in response to interviews conducted across 260 global and US companies. Organisations that aspire to be leaders in their industries in the next ten years will have to consider all seven.

“As leaders in Procurement we need to understand the economic forces driving change in the global economy”, said van Niekerk. “We then need to consider the strategies we can implement to ensure our organisations prosper on a sustainable basis, notwithstanding the turmoil around us.”

We need to consider the key economic drivers which affect South Africa, said van Niekerk, which include 2010 and infrastructure development; B-BBEE and transformation; China; direct foreign investment (DFI) and security of tenure; industrial action; land distribution and social unrest and an unsteady skills pool, to name but a few.

22 Sep Road show Gauteng 001.jpgThere was also time for chatting and networking

There are also several macro-economic factors at play which are influencing the global tide of change. “We are still subject to uncertain and uncharted times,” continued van Niekerk. “We need to take note of the various forces at play outside of South Africa, six of which the CAPS report discusses:

changing consumer demand;
natural resources and environmental pressures;
regulation and activism; and

In discussing these catalysts of change van Niekerk to pinpointed a current advertising campaign by the Nedbank Group, which underlines their commitment to ‘green procurement’, which presents Procurement professionals with a powerful tool with which to influence supplier behaviour and products.

22 Sep Road show Gauteng 002.jpg Thango Ngxola (Senior Commodity specialist), Shantel Liebenberg (Travel Commodity specialist), Mandeya Sansole (Head of Sourcing)

Van Niekerk concluded with an emphasis on the coming era of “killer talent” in supply management.

“Owed to the crucial shortage of P & SM management skills many companies and organisations will outsource their non-core functions, which in many instances will include the procurement function, or which could place the entire procure to pay process off-shore.”

These issues hold far reaching consequences for the way in which South Africa and the world will do business in the future, and will be the subjects which will be analysed and dealt with in depth by 10 leaders in procurement, each an expert in their own field, at the upcoming SmartSourcing Conference being held in Centurion on November 10 & 11, 2009.

SmartProcurement has kept the best for last; the SmartSourcing Conference is not to be missed and is the perfect way for you and your team to end the year on a high note.

To register for the conference, contact Erieka Santos on 0861 334 326 or email her at


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