Partnership ushers international procurement knowledge into SA

South Africa’s logistics and procurement capabilities have been bolstered through a partnership between one of the largest global procurement optimisation consultancies and local Rethink Management Consulting, which provides a set of integrated services aimed at solving operational problems, improving process control and cost reduction, Richard Aldous, Head of Sales and Marketing at Rethink, tells SmartProcurement.

Rethink’s partnership is with Kerkhoff Consulting GmbH, recently voted the best German consultancy company in terms of procurement optimisation, which has its headquarters in Düsseldorf, and offices in eight other countries from which it consults on procurement optimisation and the creation of measurable procurement savings.

In addition to bringing Kerkhoff’s methodologies and expertise to South Africa, the partnership will also avail South African companies to a global knowledge base containing, for example, the knowledge gained from a survey into sustainable procurement and tried and tested contingency plans covering several scenarios.

“As a matter of principle, Kerkhoff Consulting always looks to work with partners that can bring value-added opportunities to us in a particular market and which share similar core values to ourselves. We believe Rethink more than fulfils these criteria and thus look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with them going forward,” commented Kerkhoff founder, Gerd Kerkhoff.

“Rethink works closely with its clients to help identify and design business change initiatives, as well as with the management and execution thereof. Its end objective is to help its clients achieve improvements in the areas of financial performance and customer service. The capabilities offered by Kerkhoff complement many of Rethink’s other activities and we are, therefore, delighted to be part of this new initiative,” added Rethink managing director, Kem Tissiman.

Rethink, which has a level 4 BEE rating, is eager to share with South African companies the findings of Kerkhoff’s recent survey into sustainable procurement.

“A recent study by the Kerkhoff Competence Center of Supply Chain Management (KCC) at the University of St. Gallen together with the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach has highlighted that changing customer demands are forcing companies to take into account the topics of ecology and social standards in company procurement,” says Tissiman.

Future industrial buyers, will evaluate products not only according to the triangle of price, quality and service, but will expand it to a quadrangle in which sustainability will be evaluated. Purchasing managers will become environmental managers who must establish ratios as to which cost benefits will result in sustainable action. Together, Rethink and Kerkhoff can assist local companies prepare for that scenario, he said, concludes Tissiman.

Gerd Kerkhoff will be hosting an afternoon procurement discussion on June 22, 2010 in Johannesburg. Any senior representative wishing to attend should contact Richard Aldous of Rethink Management Consulting on

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