Do You Want Contracts That Last For 60 Years? Energise Your Business!
by Jo Shaer, on November 20, 2015
Jon and I went to the Sprowston Marriott in Norwich last week to attend the Energise Your Business event run by the New Anglia Growth Hub and featuring presentations from Brian Hull of Business Doctors, Alan Highet of the UKTI and John Ransford, Richard Garwell and Fred Mead from the Business Growth Service.
The focus of the event was how manufacturers could become part of the supply chain for both the nuclear and offshore wind industries.
For many businesses, both of these major construction industries seem beyond their scope - this is the realm of the big boys, requiring public tendering after putting in place a myriad of processes to achieve the correct accreditations.
Certainly, the current climate makes many manufacturers feel they want to don a suit of protective armour before getting involved in what could be a very bruising process.
However, as John and Fred were quick to point out, the rewards of some really long term contracts make it worth the investment.
60 year contracts available
If you can successfully become Fit For Nuclear, some of the contracts could see you in work for the next 60 years! And, for Offshore Wind, that figure was around 15 years. Certainly not the sort of contracts to be sneezed at.
In fact, in many areas, there was a shortage of contractors - material handlers, wiring manufacturers, pipeworkers, makers of pumps and valves and technology.
And it wasn't only the new reactors that required a supply chain, there were the old ones to be decommissioned as well - which could take up to 250 years!
Who should consider getting involved?
If your business is experienced in industry's of a similar ilk - aerospace, construction, oil and gas, etc - and has attained ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environmental and management systems and ISO 18001 for occupational health & safety, you should be thinking about whether you could get involved as a Tier 2 partner to the main suppliers.
But, even if you are not, you could become a supplier to a Tier 2 partner or even be part of a consortia supplying a section of the needs of that partner. These Big Boys don't want to have to manage thousands of small suppliers. They want to deal with one business who does all that managing for them.
The Business Growth Service offers lots of help in getting businesses ready for the Fit For Nuclear programme.
If you are a manufacturer with a desire to grow,a turnover in excess of £1.6m and are innovative and unique, you should get in touch with them.
They also highlighted that it wasn't just the obvious industries who could get involved.
All these workers on sites at Hinckley, Wylfa and Sizewell would require support - simple things like the huge amounts of laundry generated by large numbers of workers who needed a complete change of clothes as many as four times a day! Their boots would also need replacing every six months... You get the idea?
There are a couple of websites where you can register your business to get involved in some of the available contracts.
60% of UK companies struggle to find suppliers
However, we can't help thinking that you should also think about making it obvious on your website that you manufacture the products that are required for nuclear and offshore wind facilities.
One of the stats quoted indicated that 60% of UK companies struggle to find the right companies to supply them.
Just as Buyer Behaviour for consumers is changing to make use of that little computer in your pocket to find suitable suppliers, procurement and purchasing managers are no different. Faced with the prospect of a dirth of likely candidates, they are going to start researching on the web. The advice was that you should bid for a long term relationship.
How well is your website promoting you to procurement managers?
Are you putting your business where these powerful individuals can find it?
Does your website make it easy for them to understand how much more suitable you are than any of your competitors?
Is your website failling your business? Find out quickly and easily by downloading the eBook and taking the 6 simple tests. You'll be surprised.