Following structural changes at several client organisations that affected the available internal Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) implementation capacity, ESD advisory and project management firm Zevoli Growth Partners has had increased demand from companies that restructured their ESD teams, thus relying more heavily on external ESD implementation partners with virtual solutions.
The impact of Covid-19 required that Zevoli fully digitise its ESD implementation approach. However, despite the increased reliance on outsourced ESD implementation solutions, the company has not needed to recruit additional project managers over the past two years owing to the ability to realise operational efficiencies as a result of offering its services virtually.
“While we have not been immune to the impact of the pandemic, we had the advantage of being able to offer our ESD programmes virtually. Through our expanded scope, our virtual service offerings have enabled clients to retain execution momentum of their projects.
“We have, therefore, been able to increase the number of ESD programmes that were implemented for most of our clients,” says Zevoli Growth Partners executive director Mpopi Khupe.
Khupe states that Zevoli – which also recruits and selects the small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that participate in their ESD programmes, should they meet the criteria – has been “pleasantly surprised” at how well the SMMEs in the programmes have made the transition to engaging, operating and selling virtually.
“Our success was anchored by the introduction of various online platforms to the SMMEs on our programmes, including the adoption of project and work management software that allows for operational efficiency when working with a remote team.”
The company engages in projects that focus on developing and creating access to markets for small and growing businesses that operate in the communities in which Zevoli’s mining clients have a presence.
“We also conduct diagnostic assessments and prepare growth plans that outline the SMME-specific business development support that will be provided to each SMME on our respective ESD programmes, within the mining industry and beyond,” Khupe adds.
The company also supplies ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the ESD programme key performance indicators are met during, and for a defined period after, the programmes.