FSB urges Government to improve procurement for small businesses


Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the government to accept a raft of public procurement reforms that will promote supply chain best-practice and unlock the potential of small businesses

Data from the latest FSB report, ‘Chain Reaction: Improving the supply chain experience for smaller firms’, highlights that 25% of businesses who are in the supply chains for public infrastructure projects experience late payment more than half the time. It also reveals that only 12% of smaller businesses in public supply chains say they have been provided with skills support.

FSB is calling for the government to identify opportunities to separate big public procurement contracts, make better use of Dynamic Purchasing Systems and to make sure large government suppliers pay on time.

Responding to the new research, FSB Chairman, Mike Cherry reflected on recent market failures, such as Carillion’s collapse, and how it has emphasised the need to improve supply chain practices.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “Healthy supply chains are a win-win for businesses and taxpayers as they create genuine competition, drive productivity, help close skills gaps and fuel economic growth.

“Carillion’s collapse demonstrated the urgent need for Government embark on a positive reform agenda to increase value for money for taxpayers and to minimise the risk of putting too much power in the hands of a few big firms.

“By setting a good example, Government will set down a marker for Chairs and CEOs of the UK’s largest companies so that they take accountability for embracing good supply chain practice.”

Further data does show that around a third (30%) of smaller suppliers that work with Government have received help to innovate, with suppliers reporting that they have received collaboration in design (28%) and mentoring and advice (25%) support.

Cherry added: “Although there is clear room for improvement in Government’s own substantial supply chains, there are also positive examples. This is true particularly in the support that small suppliers are receiving to grow and innovate.

“This is a strong indicator of what good supply chain practice looks like. What we need to see is this good practice translated into other aspects of supply chains like payment terms, standards and business resilience.

“If this is achieved, we will see an improvement in productivity and the overall economic strength of our small businesses, local communities and the wider UK economy.”


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