However, as procurement professionals intimately understands: Accountability requires visibility in terms of the current and proposed state of BEE compliance.
In order to improve the availability of real-time BEE compliance information, one of South Africa’s largest construction companies’ sought an IT solution. Bruce Rowe of Mpowered Business Solutions tells SmartProcurement about the company’s requirements to proactively track, measure and manage its BEE process on an ongoing basis.
The complexity to be considered in a suitable IT platform was the company’s need to measure four divisions with up to seven companies, measuring their BEE compliance within each division, says Rowe.
“Furthermore, the company was shifting its measurement from the Generic BEE Codes to the Construction Sector Charter scorecard.”
The company elected to procure a web-based BEE IT System that would enable BEE scorecard tracking at an operating company level, divisional level and ultimately at group level; and which would automatically consolidate these scorecards at any time.
“Where the BEE compliance process was previously managed by divisional managers (the system had become embedded in the business), executives are now using the BEE IT System as a platform to prepare for their monthly board meetings,” says Rowe.
Reports include actual compliance year to date, as well as scenario scorecards based on planned and proposed changes to the business.
The company has decreased costs as the process for preparing for verification is now mostly automated: with less time spent preparing for verification there is increased focus on adding value to the stakeholders of the business that is required to drive transformation.
Furthermore, when collating supplier BEE scorecard certificates the company leverages operating company and divisional efforts as all certificates are loaded into a central database system. Two of the country’s largest verification agencies populate the database with every BEE scorecard verified on a daily basis, which has enabled companies to mitigate the inclusion of fraudulent supplier BEE scorecard certificates.
The company has reduced the significant administrative burden of compliance, explains Rowe.
“In many organisations, processes are manually intensive and non-value adding. Gathering data required to measure BEE compliance is particularly onerous, and data must be sourced from different areas of the business, including finance, procurement, human resources and other group departments.”
A manually intensive process is exceptionally tedious when many scorecards are measured and then consolidated into a single group scorecard. A further complexity is introduced when scorecards need to be measured at an operating company level for internal reporting purposes, but are consolidated into a group scorecard for the purposes of BEE scorecard verification.