For instance, their small size makes it harder for them to gain a widespread reputation with limited resource and as a result, they are often overlooked for supply chains opportunities.
But being an SME supplier also has lots of advantages. For a start, by joining an Achilles community your organisation is able to demonstrate its capability and credibility, and all of a sudden becomes at par with any sized organisation when it comes to buyers sourcing suppliers to bid for a contract. .
One of the main barriers facing SME suppliers when it comes to bidding for contracts is the amount of admin involved. To tender for new opportunities, suppliers are often required to fill out multiple, seemingly endless prequalification questionnaires that for many take up too much of their time, resources and effort away from their core business.
Meanwhile, suppliers’ own mind-sets and misconceptions can often prevent them from putting their business forward for a particular contract, as they think their organisation is too small to be chosen.
At the same time, however, suppliers don’t always understand exactly what buyers expect from them during the tendering process. For example, in the public and utilities sectors which are regulated, it can be confusing for suppliers to get their head around the procurement process buyers need to follow.
As a result, smaller suppliers can often feel daunted when bidding for contracts. So, how does Achilles take these worries and barriers away?
At Achilles, in most our communities, over half of our customers are SMEs and that’s why offer a lot of guidance along the way, to make everything less daunting.
Our communities provide suppliers an online platform where they can be sourced for contracts with buyers of all sizes.
As part of the process to join a community, suppliers are required to fill out a prequalification questionnaire, which asks them a whole host of questions about their business so that buyers can build a more complete picture of their organisation including reputation, and the product and services they provide. Most importantly, it provides buyers with information to help them manage risk within their supply chain.
The questionnaire only needs to be completed once annually for each industry community that suppliers want to join, saving them time, money and paperwork.
Size doesn’t matter in our communities – SME suppliers are given the same chance as bigger businesses. Buyers are more interested in credibility and capability than size, so make sure all your organisation’s credentials are visible to buyers in your sector.
And if things get too daunting along the way, we are there to help you along the way whether is it using our guides as a quick reference, attending one of our webinars, a 1 to 1 support session online, or just calling a member of our Supplier Support team who’ll be happy to answer any question you have.
In most of our communities we also offer networking events – whether with other suppliers via our Supplier Awareness Sessions or our popular Meet the Members events where you have a chance to mingle with buyers and fellow suppliers – some who could also be prospective customers for you. It’s always worth keeping an eye out for email invites for these are they get booked up very quickly.
Additionally to help SMEs, Achilles also offers Supplier Training Course, they provide an opportunity for smaller-sized suppliers to learn about where to find new contracts, how to bid for them and what the latest procurement regulations are. It may all seem very daunting but remember, we have dedicated teams to help you along the way.