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“The guidance and support you and the team have given my small company to be accepted by one of the biggest contractors in East Sussex has been pivotal.”
Marie Jones, The Office Your Office, Bodiam
Meet the Buyer – A Mitie Breakfast
A bright October morning saw delegates gather in Crawley Civic Hall to hear from the Mitie, one of the largest property maintenance companies in the country, which works with Crawley Borough Council to maintain their social housing. The breakfast was part of the Green Growth Platform events programme.
Mitie use sub-contractors to provide a range of services, and were keen to meet local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase their local supply chain.
The event began with a networking breakfast, before Rowan Wallis of the Sustainable Business Network and Lise Sorensen of Crawley Borough Council welcomed the 40 or so guests. There was then an hour long talk and question and answer session by four members of the local Mitie team on their procurement process and their sustainability and community engagement protocols. After the presentation, there was time for further networking and refreshments before the morning ended with a series of 5-minute one-to-one appointments with the Mitie team, to provide delegates a chance to introduce their company’s services.
Mitie hold a list of approved suppliers/contractors, and usually tenders are only sent to these ‘tried and tested’ businesses. However there is currently a push to broaden this out and work with more local SMEs. Businesses that want to work with Mitie won’t get ahead by being passive; they need to make themselves known to the procurement team, show what they can provide at a high standard and make sure their desire to tender is known. Once they have the opportunity to tender, if they impress Mitie and pass all their tests they’ll get onto their approved list – opening the door to many work opportunities. All Mitie’s suppliers/contractors are required to provide valid SSIP certificates, insurance and accreditations, comply with Mitie’s contractor rules and handbook, and submit a risk assessment and method statement for every job.
The Mitie team also spoke about their sustainability and corporate social responsibility policies. They are working to increase their recycling rate and increase their use of recycled materials. For example, they currently purchase windows from a company in Ireland that takes they old UPVc window frames to granulated then re-manufacture into new frames. In line with the Crawley Developer and Partner Charter, they pay the living wage, take on apprentices and work-experience trainees, and engage in community investment activities.
Event delegates represented businesses providing a range of products and services, including electrical repairs and installations, paints, fire alarms, roofing and construction, cleaning, lighting and paving.
Our series of meet-the-buyer procurement events continues on 23rd October in Crawley with Go-Ahead, the conglomerate that owns many transport companies such as Southern Rail, Brighton and Hove Buses and Metro Bus.
The Green Growth Platform supports a thriving and innovative green sector in Sussex through a unique menu of business services delivered by a team of industry specialists, business advisers and university experts. The Platform offers businesses 1-2-1 coaching, events and networking, innovation and R&D support and skills and training.
The Sustainable Business Network is pleased to be working in partnership with the Green Growth Platform to run a series of networking events, site tours and specialist seminars.