SWBC supports Devon procurement initiative to help local businesses bounce back

The South West Business Council (SWBC) is championing the importance of local supply chains through is support for SupplyDevon, a procurement platform that aims to boost Devon’s economic recovery from Covid-19. SWBC is promoting the innovative service to its members, as well as engaging with other South West counties to look at the potential of the platform being rolled out across the region.

The online system is a collaboration between Barnstaple-based Applegate, south west-based software company Ghyston, and the University of Exeter.

The project was awarded a £250,000 grant by Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency, to develop and operate the platform. This has enabled the initiative to offer its services to buyers and suppliers within Devon for free. The platform not only supports businesses in their road to recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, but also helps in new job creation, further strengthening the local economy.

Paul Coles, CEO of the SWBC, said: “SupplyDevon is a very significant initiative and one that we are keen that companies engage with. Its ability to expand into other geographies with altered branding is key. Additionally, it has the potential both to measure Scope 3 emissions more accurately than is currently possible and to include them within responses to tenders. All of which will help the region on its journey to Net Zero.”

Applegate created the platform using Artificial Intelligence technology, which matches buyers requirements with suppliers who have registered with the service. The technology also ensures that tender shortlists include a proportionate number of minority ethnic and female owned businesses, to increase supplier diversity.

The project has also been created with the ambition of helping Devon reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. By using local suppliers and buying locally, the amount of longer, often unnecessary, journeys made to transport goods will be reduced. This in turn will see a reduction in carbon emissions.

Applegate Chief Executive, Stuart Brocklehurst, said: “We saw in the pandemic how critical supply chains can be, and many organisations rediscovered local options avoiding both the environmental impact and operational risk of shipping goods across the world. SupplyDevon brings environmental, economic and ethical benefits to the region, and it’s great to be working with South West Business Council to promote it.”

To find out more about the project, or to register to use the platform, please visit: https://www.applegate.co.uk/supply/devon