Finding the right Supplier for your organisation is not always an easy task.
Firstly you identify the products or services which you need to buy. Then you do some research on the Suppliers which offer these products or services, mark these against some pre-defined criteria and hey-presto, the right Supplier is selected.
But when you are setting your criteria to choose the right Supplier, as well as considering the biggest and best, do you consider seeing if there are any local Suppliers which could also support your organisation?
With Morrisons, a UK supermarket, announcing that they are going to recruit 200 new British Suppliers so that customers can purchase food that was grown, made, picked or packaged within 30-60 miles of their local store, should you be looking to work with local businesses?
Corporate Social Responsibility – Supporting Local Businesses
For many organisations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now an important approach that can contribute to sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders.
Organisations often look to see how they can promote the wellbeing of their employees, as well as supporting local businesses and charities. It is very much along the lines of ‘giving something back’ to their local communities.
Are Organisations Being Encouraged to Consider Local, Smaller Suppliers?
Big opportunities for small firms: Government set to spend £1 in every £3 with small businesses
In 2015, GOV.UK published an article that Matt Hancock, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, had announced an ambitious target that every £1 in every £3 of all government spend, should be with small businesses by 2020.
In 2013 to 2014, central government departments spent £11.4 billion with small and medium businesses, those who employ 250 employees or less, equivalent to just over a quarter of total spend.
By 2020, the government is seeking to increase this spend to a third, which equates to an additional £3 billion per year going to small and medium sized firms.
Sounds Great, but What are the Benefits?
The National Audit Office produced a report entitled ‘Government’s spending with small and medium-sized enterprises’, where they evaluated the value for money gained in public spending, both nationally and locally.
They reported that if an organisation was locally placed, it was in a better position to build relationships with the local community as opposed to larger multinational providers.
The Federation of Small Businesses also reported that their research showed that for every £1 spent with an SME, there was an additional 63p benefit for the local economy compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.
What Solutions are Available for my Procurement Team to Facilitate Working with Smaller Suppliers?
At Science Warehouse, we offer solutions, for both Buyers and Suppliers, which can help to facilitate the ease of doing business – and it doesn’t matter on your organisation size.
- eMarketplace – the same information, from different Suppliers
Because all our Buyers have the same view of products in our eMarketplace, this allows Suppliers to compete for business on a level playing field, irrespective of size.
It doesn’t matter whether the Supplier is a global organisation, or a local business serving a smaller region – because we standardise the information, Buyers are selecting products based on what fits their requirements.
- Managed Service – our team can help Suppliers to manage their data
Smaller Suppliers may have less resources to help them manage their catalogue data or they may want to focus on value added activities.
At Science Warehouse, our Data Quality Team offers a Managed Service for Suppliers, so we can categorise data, upload product and prices files on behalf of Suppliers.
- eInvoicing – connecting Buyers and Suppliers
Our eInvoicing solution enables the connection between Buyers and Suppliers, so no matter what your size, we can act as a transaction network.
Our network is already integrated to many common ERP solutions and as we offer multiple channels for eInvoicing, such as XML, PDF and OCR, so we make the process as straightforward as possible.
With all these solutions in place to help your procurement process, you have the ability to choose the right Supplier for your business, rather than the biggest.
Choose an eMarketplace. Choose eInvoicing. Choose Science Warehouse.
Contact us to find out how we can help your organisation.
By Richard Porter, Business Development Manager
Richard is a Business Development Manager at Science Warehouse. Richard works with Financial Directors, Heads of Procurement and pretty much anyone who will listen! The sectors that Richard manages are Housing, Local Authority and Government sectors. He works with organisations to identify their pain points and enable them to drive efficiencies and bring transformational change as they look to deliver better cost management.