In a first for The Hills, Council recently partnered with the Western Sydney Business Connection, NSW Department of Industry and the Industry Capacity Network to deliver a Strategic Business Matching Project, where major procurers and local businesses participated in a targeted business matching event at the Castle Hill Cultural Centre.
The Strategic Business Matching Project provided an innovative way for organisations to liaise with local suppliers to share information and build awareness of upcoming projects and procurement needs - at this event within the sectors of manufacturing, aged care, construction and professional services.
Why hold a procurement event?
Procurement, in the context of the project, can be broadly defined as the activities following the decision to acquire good or services, involving processes including sourcing, evaluation, quotations, market research and contract negotiation.
Participants had the opportunity to:
- Make new business connections
- Establish opportunities for collaboration and innovation
- Openly communicate about procurement processes and expectations
- Identify business strategy improvements to meet procurement needs
- Leverage local knowledge
- Participate in networking opportunities
"Businesses told Council they had a need for this type of strategic matching opportunity, and delivering it aligned with our goals of growing the economy and boosting local jobs," General Manager, Michael Edgar said.
"Providing the right service or product can be more about listening to a customer's needs rather than telling them about what you do," he said.
"Apart from the obvious benefits of connecting large organisations to businesses that may be able to supply their needs locally, the event also created an important opportunity for businesses to learn how to refine their pitch," he said.
Procurers participated in a series of individual 15-minute face to face meetings with strategically matched suppliers, providing information on doing business with their organisation, identifying upcoming projects or procurement needs and discussing where to find relevant procurement information.
Major procurers included:
- Transport for NSW
- CPB Contractors
- The Hills Shire Council
- Summit Care
- Western Sydney University
- Seymour Whyte
- Sydney Zoo
- National Australia
Thirty-six businesses participated, with 160 additional businesses expressing interest.
What were the outcomes?
Overwhelmingly, participants had a high level of satisfaction, expressing an interest in continuing a dialogue in similar forums.
One business has reported that they have been invited to tender with a large organisation on a significant contract.
The success of the event highlighted the benefits of collaboration between different levels of government and industry in providing support for businesses.
What people said
"It's a fabulous concept and I'm positive that several long-term partnerships will come from it that would not have been possible without the introductions."
"It was a great opportunity to meet with suppliers especially those new to the Shire. It gave the suppliers an opportunity to meet and speak directly with the buyer which would not have been possible if not for events like this."
"I want to personally thank you for putting on a fantastic event and for the amazing work you do for small businesses in Western Sydney."
What's happening in the New Year?
The Hills Shire Council is committed to ongoing support for local businesses, and understands the value this type of support can add to empowering business to make better decisions. In 2019 this will include:
- Face-to-face business visits
- Access to the latest demographic data and market insights
- New business welcome events
- Business education series
- Access to the Online Business Directory
- Entrepreneurial meets ups
- Easy to do business program