AccentureABC OF BEE
A global professional services company, Accenture, believes that it has a responsibility to engage proactively with the businesses in the communities in which it works for maximum positive impact. This is done through inclusive procurement practices and its Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) programme which creates a more inclusive and empowered marketplace.
The ESD programme is the South African implementation of the company’s global priority initiative, the Accenture Global Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP). This programme reflects Accenture’s commitment to developing and expanding relationships with diverse businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, LGBT, veterans, and others. Started in 2006 in the US, it now runs in five geographies (US, Canada, UK, South Africa and India), and has successfully graduated over 175 diverse suppliers. The programme will be extended
into four more international regions in 2021.
Started with a pilot of seven small and medium-sized (SME) companies in 2015, the programme grew from strength-to-strength with 19 companies in the current intake that will run until the end of May 2021.
Every company that has participated in the Accenture ESD programme is so far still operational and 60 percent of them are now Accenture suppliers and partners. Five SMEs in the current group have graduated from Enterprise Development to Supplier Development and now render services to Accenture. Five have grown into generic businesses and three are now top category suppliers. In total, Accenture’s procurement with present and past participants of its ESDP reached R67 million in FY20.
Accenture remains at the forefront of social upliftment and empowerment in South Africa and is unwavering in the priority its ESD programme enjoys, far beyond mere compliance for the firm’s maintained Level One B-BBEE certification. Accenture South Africa is also proud that the impact of its ESDP effort is recognised by peers, with awards like the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards where it was lauded as the top Nation Builder programme.
“At Accenture, we understand that our ultimate success is intricately linked to South Africa’s prosperity as a nation. We are, therefore,
committed to unlocking South Africa’s abundance for all by building a sustainable economy that can address the needs of all citizens,” explains Zandile Njamela, Enterprise Supplier Development lead for Accenture in Africa.
Njamela says that supplier development must become a national imperative for the private sector and support government’s efforts to realise the country’s economic growth ambitions.
Accenture’s ESD programme forms part of a broader strategy that addresses grass-roots challenges in areas such as skills development and job creation through a range of learnerships, internships and socio-economic development and preferential procurement programmes that benefit both the ICT sector and society as a whole. “We use a blended, six-pillar approach that leverages Accenture’s capabilities and resources to assist SME business owners in building innovative, agile and sustainable businesses. The programme offers training, business development support, access to market, mentoring, early payments and collaboration for high performance,” states Njamela. This provides them with access to market via opportunities within Accenture’s supply chain or those of its clients to drive value both internally and externally.
The company’s procurement processes further promote the use of black women-owned suppliers and business partners. Accenture is also committed to paying invoices from SMEs within 15 days after submission to assist with cash flow.