Because of the huge potential impact that empowering entrepreneurs and SMEs in South Africa has in uplifting communities and economies, enterprise and supplier development is undoubtedly one of the most powerful forces for change.
However, a successful ESD strategy often requires a continual, gradual injection of capital. This can be a bitter pill to swallow in the middle of an economic recession, when the SMEs you’re investing in don’t ultimately benefit your bottom line. Fortunately, there is a better way to go about it.
Why should you invest in an SME?
When aligned with your industry, ESD partnerships can be a very worthwhile investment. Think of all the benefits to your business continuity, time-to-market, scalability and future business prospects that would come with investing in SMEs that can contribute directly to your supply chain.
Have you done your due diligence?
You need to ensure the SMEs you select are of the highest calibre and capable of following through with commitments. While an SLA might ensure accountability, it won’t go very far in counteracting disruption and downtime, if and when it happens.
Take extra precautions with a full technical expertise audit, be upfront about your expectations and encourage the SMEs to be open and honest in return. It’s as much a give as it is a take. You cannot expect an SME to invest in providing capacity to you without a level of operational security.
How can we help?
The benefits of ESD are clear, particularly now when reducing cost and managing risk are the mandate. But do you have the resources or experience to effectively diversify your supply chain and unbundle spend, or even find and assess the best SMEs for your needs?
The difference between a successful ESD programme and an unsuccessful one is management. It’s not enough to merely inject capital, SMEs often need to be nurtured – mentored to adequately meet your needs – without making them entirely dependent on you. That’s where Edge Growth comes in.
At Edge Growth, we have an extensive list of high-achieving SMEs and the experience to help them develop. We also provide the capacity and expertise necessary to upskill and onboard them into your supply chain, without adversely affecting risk. You may be able to rationalise your supply or innovate in the supply chain, but how do you do that simultaneously, while also successfully managing B-BBEE transformation?
It’s our job to effectively converge all of those layers into a cost effective, pain-free process, to manage the operational side of your transformation, so you can focus on the bottom line.
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