Purchasing commodities to achieve more than BEE compliance


LindelweKunene.jpgThe BEE Codes have been top of mind since the beginning of 2016, unfortunately it is for the wrong reasons. Recent headline-grabbing stories of unprecedented racial tension have revealed a greater need to intensify efforts to achieve real transformation in South Africa. Despite being seen as a complex technological commodity, the provision of printers and printing technology cannot be overlooked in achieving that transformation.

Traditionally viewed from a cost and total cost of ownership (TCO) perspective, it is essential for procurement to consider factors in addition to the costs of office output devices. Failing to observe the level to which a supplier is engaging in economic transformation, is overlooking the opportunity to move beyond mere BEE compliance and engage in economic transformation, says Lindelwe Kunene, Nashua’s Chief Human Resource Officer in this month’s SmartProcurement.

In business, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) policy is key to economic and business transformation, but it does not come without its challenges. Organisations must meet compliance criteria, but must also make a concerted effort to achieve true transformation beyond a scorecard.

“They must acknowledge the need to continually help their suppliers accept and embrace change, while staying motivated and engaged in the process. It is the only way for organisations to succeed and ensure a fair and all-inclusive business environment.”

“Businesses need to look beyond short-term fixes and invest in longer term strategies. Developing current suppliers and employees, for example, is one way to ensure a more sustainable transformation trajectory,” says Bhavik Khoosal, Nashua’s transformation manager.

The first step towards transformation at Nashua was recognising the need to change and gaining consensus amongst stakeholders. And support from the Executive has been and continues to be key in the process, explains Kunene.

“The process must be led by example. If management is not seen to drive change, nobody else will believe it is real.”

Kunene adds that setting a reasonable pace that the company is able to follow is equally important (in the last year, Nashua has appointed three African women to senior management positions).

Steadfast commitment

While Nashua currently has a level three B-BBEE rating, the business intents on achieving an even higher rating in the years to come.

“Transformation is about moving and looking forward. As a proudly South African company, creating a business landscape that drives real change is our responsibility, and we are fully committed,” concludes Kunene.

For more information visit www.nashua.co.za.

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