18th July 2019
Sandwell Council has once again landed a prize at the Federation of Small Businesses (Birmingham, Black Country and Staffordshire) Local Authority ‘Small Business Friendly’ Awards.
This year’s award, for Best ‘Small Business Friendly’ Procurement Policy, recognises the work that Sandwell Council does to support SMEs to build procurement-driven supply chains. Its unique approach, using procurement masterclasses, workshops and e-sourcing instruction, has helped many of the borough’s small businesses improve their buying processes and embrace new tendering methods.
The council also promotes collaborative procurement, helping companies pool their spending power to negotiate better prices, develop new ideas, nurture innovative buyer/supplier relationships and unlock the potential of the local supply chain.
At council-run procurement workshops, developed in collaboration with procurement facilitators from the private sector as well as local SMEs, buyers are coached in ways to improve their negotiating skills, spot new purchasing trends, verify suppliers, build relationships and keep up to date with changes in legislation.
The work is driven by Sandwell Council’s Inclusive Economy Deal, alongside its 2030 vision – to be the anchor institution at the heart of enterprise, building community wealth and boosting SME business growth.
This isn’t the first time Sandwell Council has landed an FSB award. In 2015 Sandwell Council came top in the Best ‘Small Business Friendly’ Programme or Campaign category. In 2018 it won two awards, for Best in Class for Procurement and Overall Winner of Best in Class.
Collecting the award on behalf of the council were Nicy Morgan from Think Sandwell and Councillor Danny Millard, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills. He said: “I’m delighted that the support we give to business in the borough has been recognised yet again. The world is changing, and small companies have less and less time to react to market shifts. It’s great to know that the work we do is making a difference, and to have that acknowledged through this award is the icing on the cake.”
John Faulkner, joint managing director of Millennium Manufacturing Group, said: “We’ve always found Sandwell Council’s support for manufacturers and its engineering supply chain initiatives have given us great impetus. Their efforts in encouraging supply groups to work together has proved to be invaluable to small and medium sized firms like ours.
“Sandwell Council’s visionary formation of SME clusters has been pivotal to our success allowing us to explore the local economic, environmental and sustainable procurement benefits achieved through collaborative work.”