“Definitely useful” is how many ICT companies are describing the government’s Meet the Buyer 'speed dating' event held in Wellington earlier this month. One company, Touchtech LTD, a mobile cloud services provider, says it has already won some business as a result of the conference.
Adrian Falvey, director and founder of Touchtech, says the event was a great idea because many departments and agencies don’t put all work out to tender. He says it was a good opportunity to pick up smaller contracts that some of the larger established companies would normally take up as part of an existing government supply contract and charge out as an add on.
Falvey is pleased his company picked up some work from the day, but he says there was a limit of three government agencies that attending companies could pitch their solutions to.
“They need to do [Meet the Buyer] more often and perhaps give companies the opportunity to meet more than three agencies.”
Falvey says the business Touchtech won was "a job for one of the agencies that we bumped into there. We showed them what we had to offer and they said ‘we have a project that we could do with that’ and yes, that worked out really well.”
“The whole tendering thing for a small company is quite intimidating in the sense that you have to proof all the stuff and write a 300 page document and answer questions, which obviously saps a lot of resources and time. So being able to have the opportunity to be able to go in and meet people in procurement from these government departments is great.”
Falvey says the process doesn’t side step the tendering process but gives the buyer more confidence.
“I guess in a lot of these government departments they do have a lot of smaller projects that end up getting gobbled up by the IBMs and Datacoms and what have you. And that tends not to be as cost efficient for departments. If they had the opportunity to talk to smaller businesses like us and be able to work with us on those smaller projects that don’t actually require a big tender or anything like that.”
Another attendee of the event, Andrew Stuart of Wialus Solutions simply says the event was “useful.”
Mike Weale chief operating officer from Planit Testing says the event was very well organised and a good experience. “We’ve got the ball rolling and we’re talking to a few people regarding future projects. It was a good event. Very well organised.”