African buyers challenged to use SMEs to get better value for money

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
30 July 2014

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31 July 2014 | Will Green in Lusaka

Procurement professionals in Africa have been challenged to consider using SMEs in order to get better value for money.

Regina Mulenga, business banking director for Barclays Africa, told delegates at the CIPS Pan African Conference to think about empowering smaller businesses to enter supply chains.

Speaking in Lusaka, Zambia yesterday she said: “What are we going to do to make sure the smaller guy is empowered and able to deliver to the big guy? What are we going to do to make sure the big guy has the confidence that the smaller guy will deliver?

“Some of you are buying for very big companies. Do you respect the credit terms you give to the small guy? Do you understand how you are influencing the growth of that business? Why are you procuring from the big guy? Are you giving him an unfair advantage?

“Are you really getting value for money? If you give that big guy some competition would you get better value for money?”

Mulenga said Barclays tried to act as a bridge between large and small companies by providing networking events and workshops and training for SMEs.

“What can we do to upskill small businesses in the procurement system?” she said. “Our corporate social responsibility is going to be taken to a totally different level.”

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