Quality, Reliability and Cost Rank High in Assessment of Sup-Suppliers by Multinational and Larger Indigenous Companies

Pictured at the Local Enterprise Week seminar, organised by Shannon Chamber and LEO Clare and held in the Gateway Hub Shannon (front): Padraic McElwee. LEO Clare and Helen Downes, Shannon Chamber. Back (l-r): Joe Fitzgerald, Stephen Dowling and Trevor Sweeney, Atlantic Aviation Group; Michelle Hynes, Reagecon; and Eugene Hannan. Microchip Technology Ireland. Photo: Eamon Ward.


For the second year in a row, Shannon Chamber has collaborated with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Clare to give smaller, indigenous companies an insight into what they should focus on if they wish to be considered as a supplier to a larger company, indigenous or multinational.

Hosting a seminar entitled ‘The SME & Multinational Company Procurement Process: A Guide for Prospective Suppliers’ during Enterprise Week 2020, which took place from the 2nd – 6th March, Shannon Chamber enlisted the help of three member companies, Reagecon Diagnostics, Atlantic Aviation Group and Microchip Technology Ireland to outline their specific procurement requirements.

With a supplier spend of approximately €13millon every year, €7m of which is in the local economy, Reagecon’s outsourcing requirements include raw material chemicals, packaging and labels, consumables, IT services, freight, facilities, consultancy and training and development.

Outlining what the company seeks in a supplier, Reagecon’s commercial director Michelle Hynes said: “We assess potential suppliers on the quality of their product, the accreditation and certification they have attained, their quality management systems, cost in terms of value for money and, price security. We also look at their compliance, safety and delivery track records. Risk in terms of business continuity planning and flexibility are also key considerations.”

With 1,300 approved vendors on its data base, aircraft maintenance, technical services and training company Atlantic Aviation Group (AAG) sources a high percentage of  its aircraft spares and parts mainly from the US, the UK and central Europe, but procurement opportunities do exist in three distinct areas: aircraft-related, commercial and capex procurement. Similar to Reagecon Diagnostics, AAG looks for quality, professionalism, competence, reliability and a good communication flow with all of its suppliers, stated the company’s presenters at the seminar: Trevor Sweeney, CFO; Joe Fitzgerald, materials team leader and Stephen Dowling, facilities project manager.

Ennis-based Microchip Technology  Ireland, part of total systems solutions provider Microchip Inc., which expends over €2m on commodities in Ireland and worldwide, classifies its vendors into categories based on their level of criticality to the business and uses management tools and techniques to further assess if a vendor can meet the expectations and requirements of the company.

Purchasing and supply chain specialist with the company Eugene Hannan listed on-time delivery, continuity of supply, quality, responsiveness, flexibility,  as the critical requirements of companies seeking to do business with the company whilst bonus points are allocated to companies that initiate continuous improvement initiatives in the area of strategic cost management, supply chain support and technology improvements. He also suggested that smaller companies could consider supplying to the larger organisation by linking up with vendor management companies.

Thanking Shannon Chamber for organising a very informative and important event, LEO Clare’s head of enterprise Padraic McElwee added: “Events of this nature are hugely valuable as the small supplier needs to understand the requirements of larger companies and what elements in their supply chain can be provided locally. They need to do their homework before approaching any company and, knowing the facts, make a compelling argument as to why they should be considered as a potential vendor.

“Collaboration between large and small companies makes an important contribution to the local economy and an event of this nature could be the catalyst for opening up doors,” he added.

Asking attendees if they required introductions to the presenters, Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downs drew a resounding full show of hands and commented: “Every new business deal starts with an initial introduction. Shannon Chambers is delighted to be the conduit to such introductions and to play its part in securing business for members companies of all sizes.”

The SME & Multinational Company Procurement Process: A Guide for Prospective Suppliers seminar was one of seven events organised by LEO Clare during Local Enterprise Week.