Imperial boosts BEE measurement for big benefits

28 August 2012

Reflecting its commitment to transformation – and to providing its valued clients with the benefit of 137.5% BBBEE preferential procurement recognition – Imperial Logistics embarked on a project to find the most effective solution to measuring BEE compliance across the entire group.

The challenge

Imperial Logistics is driving continuous transformation improvement as a strategic business imperative, with operating unit managers accountable for achieving transformation targets. The group verifies one consolidated BEE scorecard, but this is based on input from some 70 operating units, which presents challenges. Chief integration officer Cobus Rossouw elaborates: “Each MD must have visibility of their company’s actual BEE compliance versus their targets, and it is necessary to measure BEE compliance on a monthly basis, both at an operating unit, division and group level. Consistent measurement and interpretation, data integrity and accuracy of BEE calculations are important to measure operating unit performance, and for scorecard verification.”

To ensure the effectiveness of this approach, Imperial Logistics required a robust, sustainable IT system that would have the buy-in of all role players – from executives down to administrators.

The group’s complex challenges also included tracking and measuring Preferential Procurement per operating company, matching thousands of supplier BEE scorecards to the relevant spend on each supplier – a process that was further complicated by the fact that many operating companies source products and services from each other.

A tailor-made IT solution

IMPERIAL Logistics investigated the market for specialist BEE IT systems, and found what it was looking for in Mpowered Business Solutions, which enhanced existing BEE IT systems to meet the specific requirements of the group.

“Information on the Ownership and Management Control scorecard elements is now captured once, at an Imperial Logistics company level. The system automatically pushes this information downwards into each divisional and operating unit BEE scorecard, to ensure that the operating companies need only input data relevant to their specific business, and where they could influence the level of BEE compliance. The Mpowered IT system consolidates data from each operating company to automatically produce eight divisional scorecards and one group consolidated scorecard.”

Controlling the success of transformation initiatives

Each MD has visibility of their operation’s BEE compliance, and can easily assess scenarios, to measure the impact of any BEE initiatives in real time. “MDs can now control the success of their transformation initiatives,” Rossouw stresses.

The system enables suppliers to access an Imperial Logistics branded version of Mpowered’s BEE scorecard database, where they can load a copy of their verified BEE scorecard certificate. “They need only load it once, and it is immediately accessible to all IMPERIAL Logistics finance and procurement departments. Each operating company loads their supplier spend into the Mpowered IT system on a monthly basis, and by using the supplier’s VAT number as the unique key, the spend on each supplier is automatically matched to the BEE compliance of that supplier. This process automates the Preferential Procurement calculation for each operating company, while taking into account inter-company spend.”

Benefiting from a proactive approach to measuring BEE compliance

The innovative solution implemented by Imperial Logistics is a unique SaaS based IT system that enables the group to successfully manage continuous improvement of its transformation in a decentralised environment.

Rossouw notes that a change in mind-set from executives to administration has resulted in accountability and buy-in to meaningful and sustainable transformation. “The solution provides IMPERIAL Logistics with the ability to identify which companies are behind in target achievement,” he adds. “It also provides Imperial Logistics with an enabler to model future scenarios and targets, impacting business strategy. In addition, it is now possible to facilitate collaboration across the group to identify and explore synergies that drive transformation.”

The cycle time, and the administration required in preparing for BEE verification, has been greatly reduced. “At the end of the financial year end, the data is readily available, as is the completed BEE scorecard. Most of the evidence required by a BEE verification agency has also already been loaded into the IT system. HR, finance, procurement and transformation specialists can now focus on adding value to the business, rather than being inundated with the administration of collating data and evidence,” Rossouw concludes.

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