Stakeholder relationships

Sustainable value creation depends on successful engagement with stakeholders. Using our values as the basis of all exchanges, we aim to engage proactively with those who impact Bidvest. This informs our strategy development and evaluation, our risk management as well as our material issues.

Equity and debt investors

Nature of engagement

Results presentations and company announcements; Investor meetings/roadshows; Internet updates.

 
Key issues raised
  • Group strategy.
  • Group performance.
  • M&A pipeline.
  • Non-core asset disposal.
  • ESG metrics linked to incentives.
 
Our response
  • Hosted investor briefing sessions to enhance market knowledge base.
  • Continued reinforcement of importance of the functional governance structure and ethical behaviour as well as refinement of sustainability metrics.
  • Comair placed in business rescue, investment written down to nil. Divest from asset-heavy travel-related business.
  • Active engagement with potential interested parties with regards to potential acquisition targets and non-core asset disposal, directly and through advisors.

Employees & Trade Unions

Nature of engagement

Close involvement of local managers with local trade unions; Employment equity and skills development forums within Bidvest; Employee surveys; and Group ethics line.

 
Key issues raised
  • Market-related remuneration.
  • Protecting livelihoods during furloughing.
  • Bribery, corruption and cyber security awareness.
  • Health and safety, particularly during the pandemic.
  • Securing, retaining and development of necessary skills.
 
Our response
  • Hands-on managerial culture.
  • Independently managed ethics line.
  • Roll out of employee wellness program, health and safety protocols and other interventions.
  • Launched R400m Fund from which R2,000 per month was paid to all furloughed employees.
  • 9 675 participants in graduate recruitment programs.

Communities, including community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations

Nature of engagement

Direct engagement by business operations with local communities and organisations with regards to socioeconomic and any other specific needs.

 
Key issues raised
  • Improving the lives of those in the communities.
  • Use expertise to give back to communities.
  • Local procurement and employment.
 
Our response
  • Three-tier CSI strategy:
    • Corporate office supports a number of overarching strategic projects;
    • Divisions support their own flagship projects; and
    • Individual businesses support community-based projects.
  • Divisions run industry-specific training programs to equip communities for a sustainable future.
  • Donated sanitizing services and products as part of a national school readiness program, sponsored Woza Matric of 2020 free-to-air television learning initiative and distributed food hampers.

Government and governing bodies

Nature of engagement

Submissions; meetings, representation on industry bodies.

 
Key issues raised
  • Ongoing compliance with regulatory frameworks and good governance.
  • Tender processes and adjudication.
  • Local procurement and employment.
 
Our response
  • Maintained sound governance policies and procedures.
  • Constructive engagement with various tender boards.
  • Introduced local partners and procurement elements in various contract.
  • Participated in B4SA initiative to engage government on reopening of economy during lockdown.
  • Contributed to the post-lockdown economic recovery plan.

Partners and potential partners

Nature of engagement

International, regional and industry contacts; Market intelligence, focused on leaders in specific niche areas where Bidvest sees growth opportunities.

 
Key issues raised
  • Scope for complementary growth.
  • Prospects for entry into new markets.
  • Potential to better serve existing customers by forming an alliance or a relationship, thereby anticipating emerging needs.
 
Our response
  • Constant evaluation of market developments, new technologies and solutions.
  • Various proof-of-concepts for the use of IoT in facilities management.
  • Communication with brand principals, industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Customers

Nature of engagement

Monitor call centers; Independent complaint channels; Group ethics line; Bidvest website; Group product and service brochure; Direct calls to divisional CE; Customer visits, feedback from sales representatives and client relations teams.

 
Key issues raised
  • Compliance to a customer centric ethos.
  • Increasingly complex and value-sensitive business environment.
  • Retain and grow key customers.
  • Demands for higher black ownership.
  • Tenders and procurement decisions deferred due to lockdown.
 
Our response
  • Meet and exceed customer needs and expectations through innovative solutions and broader product ranges.
  • Focus on key senior relationships with strategic customers.
  • Pragmatic and commercial approach to black ownership.

Suppliers

Nature of engagement

Communication with key suppliers on market trends and requirements, as well as product innovations.

 
Key issues raised
  • Clear communication channels supporting accurate and timely information to all parties.
  • Long-term sustainable support of small and/or black-owned supplier companies.
  • Financial and operational challenges faced by certain suppliers.
  • Security of supply.
 
Our response
  • Established alternative supply channel.
  • Engaged with suppliers on product innovation.
  • Supportive long-term relationships with small and black-owned businesses to ensure their sustainability.
  • Continued efforts to streamline logistics chain.
  • Proactively sourced high-demand product.