Leadership profile: Ntokozo Zondi

This month SmartProcurement profiles Ntokozo Zondi, Head: Group Procurement at Orion Engineered Carbons.

Full name: Ntokozo Zondi

Position: Head: Group Procurement

Your organisation’s procurement expenditure: R750-million a year (South Africa only)

Who does P & SM report to? Global Supply Chain VP (Frankfurt, Germany, EU)

Ntokozo will be speaking at Smart Procurement World’s Western Cape Conference in May 2018

Private sector or public sector: Private sector

Core business activity of the enterprise: Supplier and manufacturer of Carbon Black

Management motto: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” – Peter Drucker

Personal motto: “You can try and fail, but never fail to try”

Membership of professional bodies: CIPS

What is your vision for P & SM: To be part of the movement that elevates the procurement function to the strategic plain it deserves to be at, where it functions as a source of competitive advantage in areas such as cost reduction, quality improvement, time to market and lead-time reduction, product and service differentiation

Personal best achievement:

I freed up procurement and enabled continual savings, by having current and prospective suppliers develop multi-year cost reduction strategies. Although some procurement organisations might view this as a conflict of interest, it does not replace the need for a robust category strategy, but rather, lets the supplier bring you the best practices that have worked at other customers. It can also be useful when procurement only gets one year of ‘credit’ for year-on-year cost savings because the supplier is spreading the cost savings (using different collaborations with you for demand management, specification management, mix changes, etc.) over multiple years

I improved the accuracy of budget forecasts, by working very closely with marketing and other relevant stakeholders; using future sales volumes to work back to the required primary input materials on a multi-year basis. This gives a better forecast on demand planning and, therefore, the procurement requirements

We achieved savings of R15-million a year, by reducing fixed spending by 10% and variable overhead spending by 19% through a variety of cost-improvement initiatives and through better utilisation of resources (aggregation of spend, discount negotiations)

B-BBEE spend was increased by more than 15% (within the portfolio under management), by increasing the number of B-BBEE vendors through vendor rationalisation, making transformation an imperative to those vendors already contracted, and having clear supplier development components in all new contracts

Most important commodities:

Primary commodities: Oil – Creosote (GKO) and FCC, Kerosene and Diesel

MRO: Consumables such as cleaning, laboratory or office supplies; industrial equipment such as compressors, pumps and valves; plant up-keep supplies such as gaskets, lubricants and repair tools; and computers, fixtures and furniture

The person that has had the biggest influence on your life: My father. From humble beginnings, with limited education and operating in the apartheid era, he managed to establish multiple businesses, take care of his family and provided employment to the community. He served as a shining example for other black businessmen coming after him

The person that has had the biggest influence on your career: Again, my father. He taught me the value of taking initiative, being self-sufficient and relentless in achieving my goals and targets, regardless of obstacles in the way

Person you would most like to meet: Former President Thabo Mbeki

What do you like most about your job: Being at the forefront of value creation for the business

Is there anything you dislike about your job? Working with people, who for various reasons, do not ascribe to the strategic possibilities the procurement function has within the procurement maturation curve

Businessperson who has impressed you most: Richard Maponya

Favourite quote: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” – Proverbs 14:23

Your favourite South African organisation: Transnet National Ports Authority

Your favourite global organisation: Apple

Your philosophy about life: Love your family

Favourite reading: Think & Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill

Favourite music: Afro Jazz, Pop, R&B

Favourite sport: Tennis

Favourite website: Google/YouTube

Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, watching movies

Car: Audi A5 Coupe

Married: No

Children: 2

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