At this year’s Defence Procurement Research Technology and Exportability (DPRTE) event, Jim Carter, Commercial Director of Supply Chain at the Ministry of Defence, said that, “harnessing the innovation of SMEs is absolutely critical to have the best military capabilities.”
He also added that innovation is high on the MOD’s customer agenda and that the organisation is engaging with SMEs to bring them into the defence supply chain.
Collaborating with SMEs
Mr Carter spoke in depth about the how the MOD plans to collaborate with all levels of the defence industry moving forward, noting the launch of the new Defence Suppliers Forum (DSF) and how it will play a part in this:
“The new structure of the DSF is very inclusive and it’s going to bring primes, mid tiers and SMEs into our engagement and we are working on things that we have jointly agreed.
“We have a joint vision, we have clear programmatic plans to deliver and we will work hand in hand with industry and I am really encouraged by that!”
When asked about how suppliers can learn more about working with the MOD, he spoke about the benefits of attending events like DPRTE, where buyers and suppliers can meet and engage face to face. Mr Carter said:
“It’s all about communication and understanding what is going on within the defence sector.
“Attending events like DPRTE where you can talk to a lot of people on the one day is valuable in terms of time.
“It enables people to hear the latest news and information about what is happening with the MOD as there have been many presentations here from senior staff at this event. It helps suppliers to understand the landscape and the opportunities available.”
Mr Carter was also asked by our content team what was next for the organisation in terms of procurement in the coming months, to which he replied:
“This year ahead we will be implementing the MOD’s SME action plan.
“We have set out what we are planning out and what we have achieved. The implementation of our parenting programme, we are already set up for success there, but it is about driving it on and delivering and then the Defence Suppliers Forum structure. We have a new structure with great engagement from industry. It’s about those plans that we have set out, scopes of work being driven through and delivered through that new government structure.
“With those three areas there is lots to achieve – which means there is a busy bit exciting year ahead.”
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