Emerging Market Watch: Procurement Sophistication in Africa (Part 2)

The first installment of our series covering procurement sophistication in Africa can be found here.

Continuing on, we come to the topic of indirect spend. Although I had the impression that the private sector buyers were direct side, and many were heavily mired in transactional activities, there were a few strong signs of interest in the indirect side. One participant from a Mombasa-based coffee firm (sophisticated enough to run SAP for all their transactions) revealed that their indirect spend is now on the list of priorities.

Perhaps we’ll see full-service strategic sourcing firms begin to enter the market to help companies reduce their indirect material costs. At the very least, it seems to be a decent market expansion opportunity for Western firms willing to bet on a truly emerging market with procurement teams that are becoming more sophisticated and aware (but with an internal focus on direct spend, primarily).

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