Toyota Zambia and Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ) have partnered seeking to build deeper supplier relationships.
Toyota Zambia managing director Dino Bianchi said partnerships were the lifeblood of corporate supply chains in today’s scale-driven, technology-intensive economy.
Mr Bianchi made the remarks during the signing of a co-operation agreement between the automotive distributor and the Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ).
The partnership would see two organisations working together on local supplier development to increase the number of competitive Zambian enterprises supplying Toyota Zambia’s main operations in Zambia.
“We respect to business partners such as suppliers and dealers and work with them through long-term relationships to realise mutual growth based on mutual trust. We are, therefore, pleased to collaborate with PEPZ to facilitate and support the development of qualifying Zambian suppliers to the level where they will be eligible and suitable for contracting by Toyota Zambia,” he said.
According to the agreement, PEPZ would identify and screen Zambian enterprises for the initiative, and further conduct assessments on screened suppliers and provide recommendations on areas of capacity building support needs for each supplier.
And PEPZ team leader, Bayo Akindeinde said PEPZ strongly believed there was a commercial case for large companies such as Toyota Zambia to purchase more locally to shorten extended, import-dependent supply chains, purchase locally and to reduce costs in products where Zambia was competitive.
“We are excited to partner with Toyota Zambia to increase local SMEs’ participation in the company’s supply chain.
“The ripple effects of such an undertaking are enormous and we look forward to seeing SMEs thrive as a consequence,” he said.
Mr Akindeinde said PEPZ aimed at boosting the development of a competitive private sector and contributes to poverty reduction by building sustainable linkages between small-size enterprises, their larger scale business partners and support institutions through their business linkages programme.
In Zambia, the private sector mainly consists of micro, small and medium enterprises that generate a large share of employment and income opportunities.