Getting listed on the Sanlam supplier database is no easy task, and even once there, prospective suppliers still have to compete with 40 000 other suppliers already listed on the database.
However, if Sanlam’s procurement spend figures are anything to go by it all seems worth it.
Last year, the financial services provider spent R4.7 billion on procurement, with 32% of this directed at small suppliers. Francois Adriaan, Sanlam’s head of group corporate affairs, says the amount the company spent on small suppliers last year is double what it spent on the segment in 2012. “This shows that there is still a lot to unlock here (in the small supplier space),” says Adriaan.
It’s for this reason that Sanlam has begun partnering with enterprise development organisations such as Shanduka Black Umbrellas, Tsiba and the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa).
Sanlam has just recently launched the Sanlam Enterprise Development Programme with Asisa. The aim of the programme is to drive job creation and create economic growth by providing both financial and non-financial support to small suppliers. The programme, launched in January, initially involves five small Sanlam supplier receiving training and mentorship.
Two of these initial five enterprises have also received investment funding worth R3 million each which is to be repaid over seven years. The five businesses were chosen based on their growth potential, value chain alignment, commitment to the programme, transformation, need for assistance, entrepreneurial ability and leadership capacity.
“We’ve moved away from just writing a small business a cheque and walking away. We are moving towards sustainability of the business as a whole and developing suppliers who we can regularly procure from,” says Adriaan.
He adds that there are two routes for prospective suppliers to get on to the database. Business owners can either choose to go via the business support programmes that have been set up with Sanlam’s three enterprise development partners.
Should business owners choose to go via the enterprise development partners’ programmes, they can contact these partners directly.
Alternatively, prospective suppliers can contact Sanlam’s procurement office and request to have their information loaded onto the insurance provider’s database.
Once the business is on the database, each respective head of department at Sanlam can then enter the database to see whether there is a supplier that offers a certain product or service that their department requires.
The head of department then sends through a list of names of a few prospective suppliers to the procurement officer who in turn submits a request for a quotation from the supplier. “We then shortlist candidates for an interview.
Things we look at are cost, the supplier’s track record, transformation and compliance with legal and business processes,” says Adriaan. Sanlam also plans to launch a supplier portal this month, which is an online, self-service tool that suppliers can use to update their information and access announcements from Sanlam.
The insurance provider’s staff will also be able to use the database to request quotations from suppliers. However, initially this service will only be available to existing suppliers in the marketing, administration and management sectors. Sanlam mainly procures from include the following sectors: IT, facilities management, marketing and branding, travel and accommodation.