Sara’s Blog: Supporting a local supply chain

The Chambers has always been an advocate of a local supply chain and this has never been more relevant than now after we have seen the weaknesses in some of the areas where we have struggled to get the goods needed from a globalised economy. In fact, you could say that many of our events are about introducing businesses to each other as suppliers and customers.

There are obvious arguments for buying from local suppliers including lower transport costs, shorter turnaround, more sustainable practices, and a stimulation of the local economy. Although we also work really hard to encourage people to trade across the world as that helps our economy grow.

Buying local is part of many of the large companies’ corporate social responsibility policies – but it should also be because they can buy excellent goods and services locally and don’t need to look elsewhere. So local businesses need to develop their competitive edge to ensure that they get the work here – and elsewhere.

Today we had a webinar from the Small Business Commissioner, Martin Traynor, on how to find and win work from government at every level. It is on our website in the Webinar Library and is worth a look. Government, now more than ever, are keen to buy from British companies and have opportunities that are from £10,000 upwards so are suitable for most companies to have a go at.

Supply chain disruption has been a big issue in pandemic with goods being stranded at ports and airports, or not even getting that far due to lockdown restrictions in the country of origin. Something unfortunately that could well recur with a second wave of infection or in the absence of a vaccine.

Keeping production on a local level also affords an opportunity to exploit your brand capital, whether it is ‘Made in Great Britain’ or even ‘Made in Staffordshire’. As more and more customers are buying with a conscience it gives businesses not only an advantage but also a great back story to boost their image in the public arena.

Managing a supply chain takes meticulous planning and hard work but thankfully we have a great deal of expertise within the Chambers’ membership, particularly in our Manufacturers’ Forum and through our specialist business mentors. And keep an eye on our webinars for some help on exporting and understanding your supply chain – buy local and sell abroad for maximum economic benefit to Staffordshire!

If you would like to talk about how you can build a more local supply chain or would like to offer advice to those looking to do so then please don’t hesitate to contact Tom Nadin at the Chambers:

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002. We also have a Twitter hour each Tuesday and Friday from 11am – 12noon #StaffsChamberChat

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