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Supplier relationship management – anathema for the South African public procurement sector

Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management. 2013;7(1):e1-e8 DOI 10.4102/jtscm.v7i1.93


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Journal Title: Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2310-8789 (Print); 1995-5235 (Online)

Publisher: AOSIS

Society/Institution: University of Johannesburg

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Commerce: Business: Shipment of goods. Delivery of goods | Social Sciences: Transportation and communications

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML



Micheline J. Naude (Department of Management, Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Intaher M. Ambe (Department of Business Management, University of South Africa)

René Kling (Supply Chain Management Education)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The public sector is recognised as being one of the most important customer groups for many suppliers and service providers because of the volume of public expenditure. Supplier relationship management (SRM) is a necessary tool on which businesses in the public and private sectors rely. However, in the South African public sector, despite the intention to boost service delivery through efficient and effective supplier-management processes, the development of sound supplier relationships is a challenge. The purpose of this article is to provide insight into supplier-relationship challenges and to suggest a framework for implementing SRM in the South African public sector. The research presented is based on a survey using both descriptive and exploratory research. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 15 participants at eight institutions in KwaZulu-Natal. Purposive sampling techniques were used. The findings reveal that the main supplier-related challenges that handicap procurement practices in the province are a lack of experience, a lack of affirmable suppliers, threats and bribes, a lack of integrity, an inability to meet delivery deadlines and quality issues. The findings further reveal that supplier relationships in the public sector are of a transactional nature. A five-stage framework is therefore recommended for implementing SRM in the South African public sector and in order to assist government procurement officials to reap the benefits of SRM whilst supporting the requirements of public-sector procurement.