Amey plc and Engage Enterprise Champion Supplier Diversity and Initiate... - 04/05/2011

  • 9-8-2011

This innovative event emerged from discussions between Amey, a leading public services supplier and Engage Enterprise, a not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to raising awareness and benefits of procurement opportunities in the diversity arena.


Engage Enterprise also took the opportunity to signpost their collaboration with Amey to create a ground-breaking brokerage system which aims to reduce the ‘red tape' that deters micro and minority owned businesses from participating in the procurement process. The brokerage system will have the ability to match smaller businesses with Amey’s top tier suppliers, reducing the need to complete onerous paperwork such as PQQs.


Feedback from the attendees confirmed that a brokerage system that addresses and understands some of the issues and frustrations experienced by micro and minority owned businesses is imperative if supplier diversity is to be taken seriously. The system is currently in the latter stages of development and is scheduled to be piloted at the end of June 2011.


Khadijah Rafiq the Equality and Diversity Business Partner for Amey, and creator of Amey’s supplier diversity charter, is passionate about diversifying the Amey supply chain and champions supplier diversity as a market-driven imperative that can bring a competitive advantage to any organisation. The potential opportunities for growth of micro and minority owned businesses, particularly those based in London, is significant.


Jamie Cooney of E-Quip, an office products supplier, said: “It’s difficult for businesses like ours. We’re a small, local, family run business based in Newham and to get our foot in the door of some of these larger organisations is nigh on impossible! We can offer some real cost savings, but we’re unable to get in front of the decision makers to make the business case because of all the barriers at the PQQ stage. Initiatives like this are vital for the sustainability and growth of micro businesses.”


Newham Councillor Alec Kellaway, Executive Member for Business and Skills, stated: “This event is crucial for smaller businesses and I am pleased to support it. There are huge developments coming to Newham, for example Stratford City and the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, so we have to find ways to break down the big contracts for smaller local suppliers.


Mike Lindsay, Head of Procurement (Amey Inter Urban and Consultancy Divisions), commented: “In 2010 Amey’s turnover was in excess of £1bn and our service touches the lives of a quarter of the UK population each day. We want our suppliers to be diverse in business size and ownership and this is central to our Corporate Responsibility programme. This event and collaboration with Engage Enterprise demonstrates Amey’s commitment to support the communities in which we operate.”


Craig Cordice, Engage Enterprise, added: “Our purpose is to act as a portal to engage large organisations and their sub-contractors with micro and small enterprises including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. When people refer to SMEs in fact they are talking about businesses that have up to 250 employees. Within that SME pool, 80% of businesses are micro and minority owned with 1-10 employees. This is not a tick box exercise. Amey has demonstrated that they can connect with micro and small businesses and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds by contracting Engage Enterprise to host this event.”


The event, held at West Ham Football Club Conference Suite in the London Borough of Newham is the first in a series of events planned across the UK.

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