Stakeholder relationships

Sustainable value creation depends on successful interactions with stakeholders. Using our values as the basis of all exchanges, we aim to engage proactively with those who impact Bidvest, as well as those on whom we have an impact. This informs our strategy development and evaluation, our risk management as well as our material issues.

 

Government and governing bodies

Nature of engagement

Submissions; meetings, representation on industry bodies.

Our response

  • Maintained sound governance policies and procedures
  • Constructive engagement with various tender boards
  • Introduced local partners and procurement elements in various contracts
Key issues raised
  • Ongoing compliance with regulatory frameworks and good governance
  • Tender processes and adjudication
  • Local procurement and employment

Partners and potential partners

Nature of engagement

International, regional and industry contacts; Market intelligence, focused on leaders in specific niche areas where Bidvest sees growth opportunities.

Our response

  • Constant evaluation of market developments, new technologies and solutions
  • Acquired ClickOn and UDS to introduce niche technology into Services
  • Communication with brand principals, industry leaders and entrepreneurs
Key issues raised
  • Scope for complementary growth
  • Prospects for entry into new markets
  • Potential to better serve existing customers by forming an alliance or a relationship, thereby anticipating emerging needs

Employees and trade unions

Nature of engagement

Close involvement of local managers with local trade unions; Employment equity forums within Bidvest; Employee surveys; Group ethics line.

Our response

  • Informal, hands-on managerial culture
  • Refreshed awareness drive and the independently managed ethics line
  • 6 290 participants in graduate recruitment programs
  • Concluded scheduled wage negotiations with limited strike action
Key issues raised
  • Market-related remuneration
  • Group communication to ensure good employee relationships and positive workforce
  • Bribery, corruption and cyber security awareness
  • Health and safety
  • Securing, retaining and development of necessary skills

Customers

Nature of engagement

Monitor call centres; Independent complaint channels; Group ethics line; Bidvest website; Group product and service brochure; Direct calls to divisional CE; Customer visits, feedback from sales representatives and client relations teams.

Our response

  • Meet and exceed customer needs and expectations through innovative solutions and broader product ranges
  • Focus on key senior relationships with strategic customers
  • Pragmatic and commercial approach to black ownership
Key issues raised
  • Compliance to a customer-centric ethos
  • Customers increasingly demand “smart green solutions” across all products and geographies
  • Increasingly complex and value-sensitive business environment
  • Retain and grow key customers
  • Demands for higher black ownership

Equity and debt investors

Nature of engagement

Results presentations and company announcements; Investor meetings/roadshows; Website updates and other.

Our response

  • Hosted investor briefing sessions to enhance market knowledge base
  • Continued reinforcement of importance of the functional governance structure and ethical behaviour.
  • Introduction of a due diligence framework for joint venture and major sub-contracting parties
  • Active engagement with potential interested parties with regards to potential acquisition targets and non-core asset disposal, directly and through advisors
Key issues raised
  • Group strategy
  • Group performance
  • M&A pipeline and insights
  • Non-core asset disposal
  • Governance framework and transparency

Communities, community-based and non-governmental organisations

Nature of engagement

Direct engagement by decentralised business operations with local communities and organisations with regards to community upliftment, particular projects and specific needs.

Our response

  • Three-tier CSI strategy:
    • Corporate office supports a number of overarching worthy causes
    • Divisions support their own flagship projects
    • Individual businesses support community-based projects
  • Divisions run industry-specific training programs to equip communities for a sustainable future
  • R100m spend on CSI
Key issues raised
  • Improving the lives of those in the communities
  • Use expertise to give back to communities
  • Local procurement and employment

Suppliers

Nature of engagement

Communication with key suppliers on market trends and requirements, as well as product innovations.

Our response

  • Established alternative supply channels
  • Engaged with suppliers on product innovation
  • Supportive relationships with small and/or black business to ensure their sustainability
  • Continued efforts to streamline logistics chain
Key issues raised
  • Clear communication channels supporting accurate and timely information to all parties
  • Joint pursuit of efficiencies
  • Long-term sustainable support of small and/or black-owned supplier companies
  • Financial and operational challenges faced by certain suppliers