Highlights From Savour!’S Webinar On Sustainable And Affordable Procurement

On 9th of January, 2021, Savour! successfully conducted its 2nd webinar on the topic ‘Sustainable and Affordable Procurement for Charities and Corporates’. We were joined by an interactive and energetic audience consisting of over 35 attendees.

First of all, a big thank you to all those who joined and made this webinar a hit. Secondly, for all those who missed it, here is a run through of the key takeaways of the insightful points shared by our wonderful panel, well represented by the corporates and charities:

  1. Andeed Ma — The President of RIMAS, which is a non-profit risk and insurance management association in Singapore

  2. Simarna Singh — The Co-CEO of Coco Veda, which is a social enterprise that makes handmade coconut and plant based products.

  3. Brice Degeyter — The General Manager of Bizsu, which is a company that provides consulting services to make businesses greener and promotes the use of sustainable products.

  4. Fiona Tng — The Centre Manager of Brighton Connection, which is a non-profit voluntary welfare organisation that deals with beneficiaries who come from low-income platforms.

  5. Veerappa Rajan- The Business Development Manager and Procurement Advisor of SynFiny Advisors, which is a finance and general management consultancy.

The host of the event, Kexin from Savour!, kickstarted the event by focusing on the topic on sustainable procurement. These questions ranged from asking them the procurement process prevalent in their organization, their views on blemish and expiring food, the various challenges faced by them in their procurement process, some tips and suggestions for procurement and sponsorship especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and lastly their views on sustainability as a way of life in the future. The speakers sportingly took turns and answered all these questions henceforth, providing great insight to our audience.

According to Andeed Ma, sponsorship is like advertising. At RIMAS They offer domain for enterprise risk as sponsorship. They do it on a quarterly basis and a consensus from the president is required as it is a knowledge based social enterprise. When it comes to expiring and blemishing food, he has no issues with it as long as it is consumed within the particular timeframe. He strongly believes that there needs to be more awareness regarding this and start-ups such as Savour! should be encouraged for what they do. Companies are not investing long-term when it comes to sustainability and this needs to change. He thinks that there has to be a balance between economic outcomes and sustainability. The amount of investment and the value added into the business should be considered when it comes to procurement.

“We have all done enough for the short-term, let’s long at the long-term to build up a sustainable portfolio and take note of the triple bottom line result.” — Andeed Ma

At Coco Veda, Simarna believes in having long-term relationships with their partners such as farmers cooperatives and laboratories. Regarding sponsorships, they are always eager to tie-up with cause based charities who aim to make a difference. Additionally, technology has amplified their business, giving them a chance to do blockchain and letting them trace the product back all the way to the bottom of the production chain. She believes that there are 4 essential factors to be considered when it comes to procurement quality, reliability, timeliness and fair pricing. Moreover, cause based and co-branding initiatives can be considered. For instance, Coco Veda’s sponsorship association with a cancer organization.

“Make an impact and make one for the future generation. Focus on making a difference by investing in innovation and sustainability.” — Simrana Singh

Brice believes that the core of an ideal procurement process lies in understanding the exact needs of the client and then seeing whether they can offer the product. Listen to them first, and then understand needs. The goal is not to sell more but to sell better, keeping in mind the aspect of sustainability. It is crucial to listen to the market, consumers, clients and prospects to get the best market fit.

“Listen to your audience. Act now, because it might be too late if you don’t. Do not consider price, consider health and people when it comes to sustainable procurement.” — Brice Degeyter

As a manager at Brighton Connections, Fiona shared with us how as an SSA, costs are an important factor in the matter of procurement. They usually tend to consult other similar SSAs to enquire about their procurement procedures. Furthermore, when it comes to expiring and blemishing food items, the suitability and views of the parents of the children and two important considerations. She supports the idea that there needs to be a match between the client need and the merchant offerings, and this could be possible when more SSAs and organizations join in. In this way, the merchants will have a clearer picture of what needs to be offered.

“Building a good network of support not only for our organisation but also for the world.”-Fiona Tng

Veera shares with us his experience of being an ex procurement advisor at P&G, according to him working in a MNC with large scale transactions can be quite stressful and everything has to happen in a regulated environment. On the other hand, as being a part of an SME at Jobber Deals, one has to explore and learn while making mistakes.

About sponsorships, he believes that a kind of double thinking should be implemented wherein you don’t just think of your own needs but create a more collaborative environment for both sponsors and clients as sponsorship needs marketing. With respect to procurement, he says that procurement tools were not being heavily adopted pre-covid but he hopes that this changes in the future, with more and more companies and organizations adopting procurement technology and tools.

“Think more than procurement and be more than procurement. Think about your business. Digitalisation is important as being tech-savvy helps the business. Sustainability has already started and we are already lagging behind. We need to be sustainable for our planet.” — Veerappa Rajan

Missed out on attending the webinar but want to listen to the full sharing by our panelists?

Fret not, you can head over to this Youtube link below to watch the Zoom recording of the webinar: https://youtu.be/AMaYdptvwTg

Written by Madhupriya Rao
Madhupriya Rao 
is a Communications and Marketing Intern at Savour!