Sarah Maxwell
Supplier Development Programme
(SDP) offers help to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow and diversify through procurement.

As a partner in this year’s Collaboration Prize, SDP’s Sarah Maxwell (pictured, left) explains why it supports collaboration.

Scotland’s SMEs are key to the country’s economy and it is our aim to help these enterprises improve their performance by winning contacts in the public sector.

We feel collaboration is an invaluable way for smaller businesses to compete against the larger multi-national firms they may be up against in the tendering process and that’s why we’re keen to support the Collaboration Prize.

Forming a consortium to pool assets and resources doesn’t just give an SME a better chance to win contracts – both in the public and private sector – but it can give them access to new markets they may not have otherwise explored.

SDP logo

We would advise anyone looking to form a consortium to look for partners that complement their own product, skill set and approach to doing business. Often, the best way to find a partner for a consortium is to look for gaps in your knowledge or product line and identify a company that can make your offering stronger.

Many different types of business can benefit from collaborating to win contracts, but we believe SMEs who want to bid for contracts that require more than one product or skill set would benefit most. For example, an architect could join with a building firm to bid for construction work, while hotels and transport providers could join together on accommodation contracts.

Applying for the prize and forming a consortium isn’t a lot of work, and it can lead to a lot of new business.  We’d encourage any SME looking to improve their prospects to apply to the Collaboration Prize before the November 28 deadline.