INTERVIEW: Paul Alexander, Managing Director, Storm Procurement
Can you give an overview of Storm Procurement’s services and products, and the company’s role within the mining industry?
I personally have been involved in the mining industry for the past 40 years. Originally, I worked for AngloGold Ashanti for approximately 30 years. Storm Procurement was established in 2006 and is a specialist procurement service provider to the international mining, oil and gas, engineering and construction industries. The company has been providing a dedicated service to the African and Middle Eastern markets for over a decade. Our global reach combined with our industry experience means we have the knowledge to offer the best procurement solutions. We offer a range of services, from transactional procurement to tail-end spend management. Our focus is on developing our advanced technologies to deliver cost savings and increased efficiency to our clients. We continually strive to add value to our service by simplifying the buying process and ensuring our clients get the most out of their business with us.
We source a vast range of products for various industries including MRO, pumps, generators, IT equipment, tyres, PPE, crushers and civil engineering products. In terms of commodities, we mostly work with gold mining companies. We purchase goods from 27 different countries across four continents. The company is ISO 9001:2015 certified and continually meets the high standards outlined by ISO. Storm Procurement nurtures strong supplier relationships so we can negotiate the best deal for our clients.
Can you elaborate on the change in demand in terms of services and products from the mining industry over the last 15 years?
The biggest change, and it is still a work in progress, is that there is a big push from the Ghanaian government to develop local content in the mining industry. Many times, there is a demand for products that are not available in the country, which is when companies such as Storm Procurement will get involved. We will form joint ventures and partnerships with local companies to supply the products and services in demand in the market.
Can you provide some insight into Storm Procurement’s onsite support?
Strom Procurement does not stop at offering procurement management services to our clients, but seeks to enhance the experience of partnering with us through on-site support. This support includes everything from expert guidance on the entire supply chain process to sending an experienced team to complete installations for projects. Given that many organizations within the industries we service are based in remote locations and control highly complex operations, problems that they experience are not always easily communicated to external personnel. Providing on-site support is a key factor in bridging this breakdown in communication and allows us to obtain a better understanding of the individual requirements of our clients. We build strong relationships and partnerships with our clients so we can proactively work together to ensure that the daily operations on-site are maintained to the best standards possible. Our on-site personnel can provide KPI reports for review and ensure a high level of performance is maintained.
Where does Storm Procurement see the most opportunity for growth in West Africa?
Due to Ghana’s location and stable environment, we decided to make this country our main hub. There are still expansion opportunities for Strom Procurement in Ghana, and we see this country as a key area for investment. Our key markets for growth are the oil and gas and mining industries, particularly in Angola, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana. In our opinion, Ghana is still leading the way in West Africa.
Can you elaborate on Storm Procurement’s client base?
Storm Procurement has clients across the spectrum, particularly in mining. We have an IT mining client in a small operation through to the majors like Newmont, AngloGold and Goldfields. We have various contracts with our clients to fit their specific needs. We do a significant amount of transactional procurement, which include small value, low-cost items that are required.
Storm Procurement has a dedicated team focused on developing advanced technologies and delivering cost savings and increased efficiencies to clients. We have an online procurement portal, OnePortal, that allows clients to search stock, raise quotes and track KPIs. Technology plays a major role in our systems and efficiency, and we can provide transparency to our clients.
What are Storm Procurement’s objectives moving forward?
Storm Procurement is committed to reliability, flexibility and dedicating itself to servicing clients’ unique needs. We have partnerships with suppliers across the globe, providing us with access to thousands of products internationally at the best prices. We are committed to regular visits to maintain a culturally sensitive understanding of both the people we work with and the regions where we work. Moving forward, we want to ensure our alignment with the strategies of our mining clients and continue to offer them low-cost, value-added services.