Sub-Supply is about Value Add and Delivering Cost-Competitive Solutions to the larger company…procurement specialists state

Being listed as a preferred supplier to an Irish or multinational company is the ideal for the smaller company seeking to grow its client base. Knowing how to do so and what is required is oftentimes the initial stumbling block.

To explain how procurement is managed, Shannon Chamber, in conjunction with LEO Clare, invited two Shannon companies, Atlantic Aviation Group (AAG) and Zimmer Biomet, to present at a webinar on the topic during Enterprise Week 2021.

The Atlantic Aviation Group procurement team comprising materials and facilities manager Mike Roche, buyer John Sillery and facilities project manager Stephen Dowling outlined the process involved in undertaking aircraft-related, commercial and CAPEX procurement for all aspects of the company’s operations which extend to aircraft maintenance, the Atlantic Aviation Institute, CAMO and technical services and design services.

Preferring single-source supply and local, where relevant and possible, suppliers to AAG can be acquired via tradeshows, supplier contacts or through inventory locator services (ILS) with potential suppliers required to complete a vendor approval form. Operating in a highly regulated industry, suppliers to AAG must have the relevant licences and ISO/standards and approvals and demonstrate an ability to keep the company’s supply chain evolving. This includes delivering parts on time and avoiding any stock outages, having sufficient cash flow to ensure everything is in place at the right time and having access to online ordering.

The qualities AAG looks for in a supplier include the competence to deliver to AAG’s standards, professionalism in its operations, reliability, and open lines of communication.

As Mike Roche stated: “Building good relationships between the buyer and supplier is an essential element of any procurement process. We’re delighted that 50 local companies have met the standards required to be a supplier to AAG and we look forward to seeing this number increase in the years ahead.”

Zimmer Biomet’s associate supply chain manager Liz Corry, stated that the Company, which employs 800 people across its facilities in Shannon and Galway, also sources locally as much as possible, particularly for its indirect spend.

In outlining Zimmer Biomet’s supply chain structure, Ms Corry stated that the company has a relatively flat bill of material structure, consisting of main component and packing items, with a requirement for stringent quality validated processes and procedures.  With thirty-eight manufacturing sites worldwide, the company relies on global sourcing with high service-level expectations.

Outlining the key factors in a medical device supply chain, which include a lengthy validation and supplier selection and approval process, quality expectations of a supplier, competitive costs and short lead times, Ms Corry added: “Global sourcing limits a site’s ability to undertake manufacturing-related procurement locally but with a strategic sourcing lead recently appointed for Ireland there may be potential to bring our supply chain closer. We will continue our drive to source packaging items locally; this will be undertaken via our packaging development group in Galway.”

Zimmer Biomet’s general manager Claude Costelloe, and a director with Shannon Chamber, added: “It’s all about value-add and delivering cost-competitive solutions to the larger company. On-time delivery is a basic requirement. Suppliers need to add more than quality or service; they need to supply solutions to the business.”

Commenting on the benefits of a webinar of this nature, Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise with LEO Clare said: “It is so important for the smaller company to understand how procurement is managed in the larger organisation. Interactions of this nature with procurement teams generate a greater understanding of the standards the smaller company must attain to be considered as a potential supplier.”

Shannon Chamber was delighted to engage on this annual event with the LEO Clare.

“It gives companies an opportunity to talk about their procurement strategies and allows those who want to engage to review their approach. We have made several introductions since this event which we hope will open up doors for future business linkages,” said Chamber CEO Helen Downes.