Having developed a unique Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Programme over the past 18 months, Accelerate Cape Town (ACT) recently hosted a workshop with partners Mazars, Catalyst for Growth (C4G) and Supply Chain Network (SCNet), providing a progress update on the current status of the ACT ESD initiative.
The session opened with Bongiwe Mbunge, Partner – Advisory Services at Mazars, who spoke to the Shared Services Hub (SSH). The SSH is a key value driver for ACT members participating in the ESD initiative, which seeks to provide a high level of bespoke ESD interventions and Business Development Services (BDS). At the heart of the SSH is Optimize, a comprehensive business diagnostic engagement tool, intended to support the owners and managers of business to identify all the important strategies and plans that should be followed and actioned to maintain and drive business performance, as well as enhance long-term shareholder value.
The entrepreneurial business environment is constantly changing – business leaders and management teams face significant challenges from disruptive competition, talent wars, technology, regulatory changes and other critical factors. After analysing 70,000 mid-sized businesses over a 4-year period, Mazars’ Optimize Approach was designed with these challenges in mind, to assist emerging SMEs to navigate through these issues, safeguarding their continued evolution and ensuring that they remain competitive and successful.
Through a process of understanding (clarity and purpose of goals) and analysing (assess current situation and future goals), Optimize is able to identify actions that will close the gaps between goals and the current situation, ultimately driving greater strategic value. Click here for a more detailed overview of the Optimize Approach.
Next, we heard from Sifiso Ndwandwe, Executive Director at C4G. Sifiso highlighted that billions of Rands are invested annually into the BDS sector through ED and SD spend, yet there is very little knowledge available on the ROI of BDS, as well as no benchmarks or way to compare results and quality across providers. The C4G analytics platform has been designed to increase the quality of BDS in the market, reward the best service providers, and help link SMEs to growth capital. The data will improve SME support services and allow the investment community to decrease costs associated with sourcing SMEs, while directing ESD capital into high-achieving programmes.
The ideal partner to work alongside Mazars with respect to populating the SSH with best-of-breed BDS interventions, C4G will publish non-attributable demographic and performance data for BDS providers and the SMEs in their programmes. Data will be collated by BDS providers and submitted to C4G, who will be responsible for verification of this data prior to analysis. SMEs who are seeking finance will also have the opportunity to request that their information be shared with investors.
The C4G platform not only enables registered BDS providers to capture data and monitor the performance of their own SME portfolios, but also to compare their performance against the industry average enabling them to see the impact that they are having in the ESD space and will enable SME investors to identify finance ready SMEs. For more on the C4G platform, click here.
In closing we heard from Malcolm Farrell, CEO of SCNet. As part of the ESD initiative, ACT has commissioned an online portal to serve as a central platform to connect Corporates and Suppliers. The SCNet portal is an innovative approach allowing for greater access to markets, and is home to more than 70 000 active SME suppliers, all of which have been vetted for regulatory compliance.
The SCNet procurement portal consists of four key elements, namely:
Quick access to rich data: extensive supply market knowledge and understanding of the market dynamics, product knowledge and related specifications, access to competitive suppliers and spend analytics to prioritise commodity strategies based on their opportunity to unlock savings and deliver to the bottom line of the organisation.
Process optimisation: quote management (RFQ), vendor onboarding, vendor master data maintenance, reporting from maintained rich data sets, accessing extensive supplier database information through vendor marketplaces, integrating requisition and sourcing, as well as development of catalogues to reduce unstructured spend.
Cost optimisation: strategic sourcing initiatives i.e. use of online auction technology.
Risk management: getting to know the vendors level of compliance, also ensuring that the vendor understands why compliance is important, and lastly enterprise and supplier development.
For more on the SCNet portal, click here.
The workshop ended with a lively Q&A discussion and we would once again like to thank Deloitte for sponsoring this session.