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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