PROBE roll out in Africa continues
In March 2012 we will be travelling to the Republic of Cameroon (République du Cameroun) as part of the on-going United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) sponsored project to support business development in Africa.
Whilst in the Republic of Cameroon we will be training local Business Advisors to use PROBE as part of a wider benchmarking methodology, collectively called the UNIDO SPX Supplier Benchmarking Tool. The Republic of Cameroon will be the seventh African Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (SPX), following South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Kenya to carry out the benchmarking training as part of this UNIDO initiative.
The goal of the initiative is to support small and medium sized African businesses by facilitating linkages between local industrial suppliers and buyer networks. In regions such as the African sub-Saharan, this activity is invaluable in helping to build a sustainable supply chain and strengthen the economy in the longer term. Working with a range of local and national organizations and agencies, UNIDO SPX’s across Africa are implementing a framework for the program to achieve scale and impact, particularly for the manufacturing sector. Part of that support framework is the use of best practice benchmarking, of which PROBE plays a significant role.
The benchmarking provides UNIDO with a new dimension to its service. The tool is used to objectively assess SME performance, enabling the pinpointing of areas that need development to supply the buyers identified. The benchmarking element of the project is proving to be a huge success. In South Africa alone, over 200 businesses have already taken part, with many more planned over the coming years.
“The South African SPX has been implementing the UNIDO SPX Supplier Benchmarking Tool in the manufacturing sector in South Africa. The overall response is very positive with specific reference to the inclusiveness of the process, the quality of the reports and the value that the individual companies derived from it. This benchmarking tool certainly assisted the SA SPX programme to focus our supplier development initiatives.” (Richard Bean, Chief Technical Advisor, SPX South Africa)
PROBE comprises one half of the benchmarking service, called the UNIDO SPX Supplier Benchmarking tool. The remaining sections of the benchmarking questionnaire is provided by BenchmarkIndex® and the PROBE team are delighted to be working in partnership with Winning Moves Ltd on this valuable initiative.
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