Meet the Buyer helps SMEs find work

Published:  18 January, 2013

Constructionline's 'Meet the Buyer' events provide smaller and medium sized businesses with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential clients, ncluding some of the industry's biggest contractors to discuss work prospects - and many have already secured work as a result.

Constructionline is a government owned pre-qualification certification scheme for contractors, consultants and material suppliers. Last year, over 2000 SMEs participated in eight events across the UK. They included key procurement decision-makers from public and private sector organisations - including local authorities, housing associations, NHS trusts and large contractors - looking to find local construction companies in the areas where they work.

Suppliers attending 'Meet the Buyer' events are also informed about hot topics within the industry, such as public sector procurement, the Green Deal, health and safety, sustainability and equality and diversity in the construction sector. 

Meet the Buyer events are free and suppliers do not have be registered with Constructionline to attend. The following events are scheduled for 2013. To register your attendance and for further information visit: www.constructionline.co.uk

The 2012 programme drew to a close in November with Constructionline's biggest event to-date held at the Oval Cricket Ground in London.

Over 500 construction companies turned out to meet with a wide range of prospective clients, from the Cabinet Office, local authorities such as the London Borough of Havering to housing provider Amicus Horizon. 

Simon Taylor, director of Oracle, who recently joined VINCI's supply chain as a result of the event, said: "This was our first event with Constructionline and we were pleased to find that a lot of the buyers attending were big players in the industry. Instead of usual situations where you have a two-minute appointment to try and pitch your company, the day had a much more relaxed atmosphere. We could move from buyer to buyer, discussing potential opportunities to join their supply chain list - an opportunity we wouldn't have found elsewhere. We're thrilled to have been signed up to VINCI Facilities' supply chain database from attending this event." 

Earlier in 2012, VINCI Facilities also registered three SMEs onto its supply chain following the Kent 'Meet the Buyer' and one was awarded an £0.5m contract. 

Sally Bedwell, head of business development at VINCI Facilities Building Solutions South said: "Constructionline is our main source of new suppliers and with its help we are able to build reliable supply chains in the areas where we work. We take great care in the selection and appointment of suppliers we work with to ensure they are fully aligned with not only our values, but also our customers' goals and objectives. I would encourage any prospective suppliers looking to work with us to come along to future events and talk to us about working together."

Kier Construction's head of procurement, Michael Thomlinson, has also used Constructionline's events to find new suppliers. "It was an extremely intense and interesting day, meeting an incredibly diverse range of potential suppliers and subcontractors, which will be the start of some mutually beneficial working relationships," he said.

Philip Prince, sales and marketing director at Constructionline, said: "It's gratifying that our events have helped construction companies find work and boosted the local economies where our buyers work. In our experience, buyers and suppliers want the opportunity to discuss work prospects face-to-face. They also help clients find local and reliable suppliers in the areas where they work, who complement their own core values and processes."

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