By gavinlevenstein, 8 October, 2009

In many cases one person is appointed to handle all B-BBEE activities in a company. This is often a recipe for failure. To properly implement BEE, and earn the maximum points requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Usually it is the HR person who is allocated the job. HR is affected on the BEE scorecard via employment equity and in some cases skills development. The other elements need as much attention and different skill sets are required. Procurement needs buy-in from the financial director/manager/accountant/creditors clerks. Without this assistance a company will not be able to calculate their procurement spend or get the support of their suppliers.

It is almost unfair to expect an HR expert to be able to extract relevant information from the general ledger. It is actually quite a difficult task for even the accounting staff to extract the correct information, so without their buy-in and assistance the job will not get done properly.

Similarly with the other elements: Skills development may be managed by the skills development facilitator, but training takes places in all levels and divisions of an organisation. Buy-in from all managers is crucial to succeed in gathering all the required data.

Enterprise development takes many forms:

* Discounts to customers – the responsibility of the sales manager
* Investments in ED projects – the responsibility of the CEO or FD
* Professional services rendered – All professionals
* Shorter payment periods to suppliers – the responsibility of the creditors staff and FD etc…

Socio economic development can even have an element of marketing associated to it. Donations to a favourite charity can earn the company extra marketing collateral.

In general to properly implement B-BBEE properly requires many people in the organisation to provide support.

In our experience the companies that have consistently earned the highest scores are those that have included as many people in the process as possible. They have ensured that all members of staff understand why they want to implement B-BBEE, how the whole company can benefit and give them comprehensive training on all aspects of B-BBEE. They ensure their staff understand what is expected of them and recognise that each one will at some time be called upon to provide assistance or information to the person responsible for implementing B-BBEE. That person knows that he will get the support of the rest of the company.

Contrast this with the approach used by some companies that call in a verification agency or consultant and ask them to “make us B-BBEE compliant or give us a certificate” without being prepared to do the ground work themselves. This will surely waste money and will not succeed.

This is why it is so important to prepare a scorecard internally and then improve the score so that you and your customers are completely happy.



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