Some SMEs struggle to get onto PSLs and when they do ...where’s the opportunity?
SMEs have only in recent years been recognised as valuable in the delivery of supply chain solutions to large Clients and FM Companies.
However, there is still a great divide and perception to address in the industry that SMEs are not capable of delivering for larger facilities management companies, blue chip corporate clients and government contracts. The opposite is in fact true and not because I say so.
Are FM Companies missing a trick here? As a procurement, mobilisation specialist when working on projects cost savings are always very high on the Client agenda and there are benefits for using your PSL (preferred supplier list agreed) however, as we know you can’t beat an SME on price when looking for regional and local solutions.
Surely the solution is going to be hybrid, a combination of benefits from your PSL and SMEs.?. If the objective is cost savings, and you know an SME can deliver, why not add them and use them in the business creating a win win, the SME grows organically and the Client gets there savings and great up close and personal service? I will leave you to ponder on that.
SMEs are on a journey of company growth, and for many the aspiration is being able to work with larger and medium sized FM Companies, delivering locally, regionally and then nationally, internationally (if they choose to do so). Why look at the SMEs trying to get on the PSL as a threat to the current PSL? Or not good enough? Sometimes you might think, it is not worth the effort, we are happy with who we have, but then is that not being siloed and closed off to fresh eyes? Ideas? cutting edge solutions and benefits?. SMEs have a place in the supply chain solution you offer to your Customers.
SMEs can be left frustrated, they know they can bring massive value and innovation to your Clients and Customers. There is the compliance, governance and risk assessment to go through to be a psl but what next? The SME has a voice and truly has something of value to offer so why don’t you see them?
The process to become a psl can be longwinded and cumbersome for the SME, and some often give up at the stage of application, due to the time and maybe not quite having the right accreditations, and credit scores... this should not put the SME off trying.
Just think, who do you need to develop relationships with, how are you unique? what makes you stand out from the rest that eventually gets us a place on the psl of my ideal Client and Customers then work towards it.
Do not think short term, think long term. The demand is out there you just need to find the right swim lane for you ‘right now’. Just think 100 No’s will bring you 10 yeses so SMEs let’s get motoring.
Buyers work with who they know, have relationships with and have built the trust, procurement and great service delivery is about relationships, longevity and consistent service delivery that creates confidence in the Client and build credibility as a business. There is enough work in the industry for everyone. Collaboration not competition I say because in most cases the SME will lose out to the bigger players.
So what does it take to become a psl?
Top 10 things to consider;
Check your credentials do you have the right amo and accreditation’s to compete
Do you have the capacity to scale your business?
Do you have the resources to respond to tenders when you get on the PSL?
Do you have resource to complete the process of on boarding?
Can you provide good references?
Do you have a company brochure and information demonstrating your value?
What innovation can you bring to your new customers and clients?
What sustainability goals do you have?
How do you meet your corporate social responsibility?
How much do you want to grow?
Call to action for FM Companies Have you recently been approached by an SME for being added to your PSL? It was probably a call or an email which may have ended in your junk mail or be simply ignored. What would it take to be a yes for you? What percentage of your psl is made up of SMEs if less than 10% then it’s time to consider whether you are doing enough? Please provide feedback to me firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.
Once the SME is successful at getting on the PSL why not have a tenders board on your supplier portals opening up healthy competition for you PSLs, quite often it is difficult for the SME to navigate and identify opportunities in your company unless they constantly ask business development and procurement teams.
Someone's knockin' at the door Somebody's ringin' the bell Someone's knockin' at the door Somebody's ringin' the bell Do me a favor Open the door and let 'em in SMEs, Entrepreneurs, IOTs, BAMEs Open the door and let 'em in.
Credit: Paul McCartney, Wings, Let Em In 1976
What next for us, interested in learning more look out for our free webinar on becoming a PSL coming soon. Do share and comment we welcome some healthy debate around the topic.