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Industry Insights

The year supply chains will finally become sustainable

We predict 2015 will be the year global businesses take real action to address sustainability in their supply chains – responding to inescapable pressure from governments, consumers and shareholders.

Achilles Infographic: Doing business smarter as an SME

Check out this infographic to see some of the most interesting stats we published in our latest whitepaper, as well as some tips to improve your standing as an SME vying for business from large companies.

Doing business smarter as an SME

SMEs are the growth engines of the UK and with the recession behind them, the focus is no longer on just survival - it's about consolidating success and moving forward.

Achilles communities explained

Achilles communities are an effective way for buyers to source suppliers and for suppliers to extend their reach.

UK wind and marine holding strong

The UK wind and marine sectors have had a positive 2014 and conditions are expected to continue into next year.

Social Value: A new pressure point for energy firms?

The EU, responsible for regulating scores of energy firms, recently unveiled a number of new procurement rules designed to create a level playing field for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Safety in numbers

Thames Water has mandated probing health and safety audits for all of its suppliers. One year in and it has seen contractor health and safety incidents fall by half.

Expanding into new markets as an SME

SMEs need to ensure they have demand, are compliant, have connections and can boast the relevant knowledge when moving into a new sector.

A critical analysis of UK procurement risk

Fresh from a series of high-profile supply chain incidents across the globe, Achilles commissioned a study to investigate how confident large buyers are in their suppliers - particularly beyond Tier 1, and including providers in emerging markets.

Risk management and SMEs

SMEs are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of risk management but it's still a challenge for businesses.

The cycle of feedback

Feedback is important for businesses to ensure they are able to continuously improve.

Understanding ESOS

Businesses need to understand their obligations under ESOS.

Five areas of supply chain risk

Weather, politics, economics, compliance and reputation are five key areas of supply chain risk that need to be properly managed

Know your supply chain

After months, if not years of pressure, utilities companies will now have to prove they have tried to help SMEs win an increased share of work – as a raft of new procurement directives has just been agreed by the EU.

The Double-edged sword of new EU procurement rules

Infrastructure bosses must act now to protect themselves from supplier challenges. It sounds like a dream come true for anyone working in regulated procurement. After the biggest shake-up in a decade, a raft of brand new EU Directives look set to speed up, simplify, and reduce the cost of utilities procurement. The new rules are also aimed at creating a level playing-field for suppliers of all sizes while clarifying ‘gaps’ in legislation.

Giving SMEs a foot in the door

Around 96% of businesses in the UK are SMEs but they’re only winning around 10.5% of public sector contracts, less than half the target set by Government. These numbers present a unique opportunity for SMES to secure more work within the public sector, if the latest Government proposals can be fine-tuned.

Five tips: How to map your supply chain

With natural disasters, factory fires, CSR issues and health and safety failures increasingly impacting global supply chains, mapping the supply chain down through every tier is the only way to mitigate a growing burden of risk.

Rana Plaza Disaster Retailer Pact: Make it Global

The agreement is a brave and important step for retailers – used to working in fierce competition - to work collaboratively to reduce risk in the industry and other sectors should follow their lead.

Why sustainability should never drop down the agenda

The UK is undoubtedly in austere times. With the recent downgrade of the UK credit rating and confirmation that growth will remain sluggish in 2013 from the Budget, it could be tempting for businesses to push sustainability to the bottom of the agenda.

Could your supply chain let down your reputation?

Apple recently published the findings of an audit of its supply chain, which revealed a number of human rights and environmental breaches, including the use of illegal child labour by some suppliers. At a time when businesses are increasingly under public scrutiny and facing financial constraints due to economic conditions, this was a bold but necessary step.

Opening the government's door to small businesses

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his budget that UK small and medium businesses (SMEs) are set to get five times as much from government contracts in 2014-15 as they did in 2012. But will this new scheme, called the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), actually help innovative small businesses get their fair share of work in the public sector?

The Four Pillars Supporting North Sea Oil & Gas

With the UK government’s issuing of 167 new oil and gas licences to companies looking to drill in the North Sea attracting 224 applications, the industry is set to experience a period of renewed activity. Tax allowances also appear to be playing a part in unlocking billions of pounds of investment in mature fields, creating an expectation of increased business for many suppliers to the oil and gas sector in 2013 and beyond.