Innovation key to winning business

Delegates at the recent Capital West London Growth & Trade event heard from two very substantial companies about their procurement activity, and picked up some useful tips on how to win work from them, and companies like them.

Westfield and Heathrow both explained their systems, and gave delegates ideas for work-winning strategies.

Judy Chan (pictured left), from Westfield, is the IT Asset Management and Procurement Manager. She talked delegates through their six-stage process to procure upgrades, new software, devices, and support. She talked about their two key criteria – compliance and value for money, and said it was important not just to focus on price. “We like bidders to focus on quality, and be realistic on price,” she said.

Westfield look for certain things in their suppliers – Innovation was key – and said that they wanted to build long-term partnerships with companies whose expertise they could trust.

Gerard Smith (pictured top), from Heathrow, is the Head of Economic Development. He reminded delegates that the impact of Heathrow went beyond its own direct procurement, and that their supply chain had many levels, but that they would look for whole chains which delivered what they need, rather than leave supply chain management to their main contractors. Indeed, Gerard said they would be seeking to get involved with sub-contractors, indeed with all levels of the supply chain, to deliver step change improvements in service delivery.

They too are less concerned with price than value, and set much store by innovation, in particular in the area of sustainability. They seek to reduce the impact of the airport on its surroundings, and those who can help them do that are particularly welcome.

The Growth & Trade event is part of the Capital West London trade support programme, which aims to help businesses in the sub-region grow more rapidly. It was organised in response to a group of businesses coming together at the 2018 Growth Summit and asking for more information about large company procurement activity.

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