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“Speed and consistency key to retail procurement success” – Woolworths procurement Chief

The retail industry is extremely competitive. Businesses and brands need to stand out by creating seamless, value-added consumer experiences, both in-store and online.

“Speed, consistency and experience are in high demand for everything from inventory levels, fixtures and signage, to packaging and point of sale services,” says Yogan Naidu, head of Non-Trade Procurement at Woolworths.

“Managing non-merchandise spend can be crucial to getting it right and winning customer loyalty,” says Naidu.

Top retailers should look at ways to collaborate more, and create platforms to gain speed, control and competitive advantage in managing every detail – including global and local delivery, temporary or seasonal labour, retail procurement and everything in-store.

Retail markets are highly dynamic and exceptionally fierce. Tight margins are a day-to-day reality owing to the extensive resources it takes to keep product quality high and to compete and remain financially viable.

Naidu says the main challenge from a procurement perspective is to “strategically attract and foster a workforce that is future ready” to meet the evolving demands of future consumers.

Weighing in on the matter, Dr Abdul Majid Mahomed, head of the Professional Body of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply says that “being in retail procurement means negotiating to survive, and keeping costs down rather than merely maximise profit.”

While challenges are constant, there are also advantages: retail spend is high, particularly in relation to goods and services used at store locations.

To address some of the challenges faced by retailers, Smart Procurement World Regional Conference launches #New – Smart Retail – Direct and Indirect Procurement Conference. This relevant platform is co-located with the long-standing Smart Procurement World Regional Conference, taking place from 15 – 17 May 2018 at GrandWest, Cape Town.

Retailers and industry players will join the conversation and look at a more strategic and commercial approach to retail procurement, looking beyond a mere short-term drive behind operational efficiency and cost-cutting.

For more information, visit


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