SRM: How not to bite the hand that you feed

The financial meltdown and global economic downturn has put tremendous pressure on suppliers. This, in turn, has strained client / supplier relationships as clients rightfully expect continued supply and service levels while suppliers may be struggling to ensure continuity.

The saying goes “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” but experienced procurement people know that “biting the hand that you feed” is equally counterproductive. In the end bad relations with suppliers come full circle to affect the competitiveness of the buyer. It is, therefore, essential that procurement officers, responsible for the continuity and quality of an organisation’s supply, collaborate with suppliers to eliminate or adapt to suppliers’ increased difficulties and risks.

Mismanaged supplier relationships put a whole spectrum of supplier development elements at risk, including:

  • Supply base strategy development.
  • Supplier selection.
  • Supplier measurement and improvement.
  • Supplier integration.

In addition, Procurement specialists need to consider the many factors that influence supplier cost management, such as partnering with key suppliers to establish a competitive advantage that is sustainable within the organisation. This can require them to be more selective and rationalise supplier lists.

Furthermore, South African Procurement specialists have an obligation to develop and support economic transformation through selected supplier development programmes:

  • BEE Procurement strategy development and implementation.
  • Supplier certification.
  • Supplier performance development.

Adressing these issues, Western Cape Procurement professionals now have the opportunity to get up to date with the latest trends in SRM at a Cape Town workshop on March 18, 2010.

SmartProcurement will host Peter Alkema, Head of Group Sourcing at Absa Bank, for a morning session on the value-add that SRM offers. With reference to a case study, Alkema will examine and discuss the substantial savings generated by Absa Group Sourcing when implementing efficient enabling technology available to World Class Procurement Organisations.

This is what delegates had to say about the SRM work-shop in Centurion:

Elaine van der Walt, FirstRand Bank: Head of Strategic Procurement
“Real life experience. Excellent workshop. Learnt a tremendous amount…”

Mariette Nortier, Sappi: Procurement Business Process Engineer
“Real example of how operations supports and ensures sourcing achievement.”

Sullivan Mphahlele, Barlowworld Equipment: Group Procurement Manager
“Exciting input which is thought provoking and prompts one to self introspect.”

Verity Breetzke, Business Connextion: SAP Senior Consultant
“Passionate presenter. Interactive session.”

Philip Hayward, Golf Fields: Strategic Sourcing SA
“Great interactive networking session.”

Avril Notelovitz, Rand Merchant Bank: Chief Procurement Officer
“Relevant presentation. Very helpful. Able to use examples to assist our procurement division.”

For more information on the Cape Town workshop contact Erieka Santos at

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