By Grace Austin
A new program, Supplier-Connection.org, allows small business owners to better capitalize on supplier contracts for national organizations like Office Depot, Pfizer, and IBM. The Supplier Connection’s goal is to make it easier for small businesses to acquire some of corporate America’s spending on goods and services.
Supplier Connection’s application is open to firms in most industries, from chemicals to security, with less than 500 employees and less than $50 million in annual revenue. The site also offers networking opportunities where two or more small firms could potentially bundle their goods and services to present a stronger bid to participating corporations.
Business owners simply complete a single application online to become an acceptable supplier to a consortium of 15 major corporations (with more corporations expecting to participate). From there, small businesses still have to bid on specific vendor contracts, but this streamlined process takes much of the hassle from the typically lengthy processes that ensue even after wooing a corporation.
Critics point out the challenges in the limited number of participating corporations (although they include some heavy-hitting companies). The application isn’t simple either, comprising multiple pages and paperwork.
Still, for small business owners trying to get their foot in the door without filling out multiple applications, Supplier-Connection.org is a viable option.