A blog by Emma Boaden, Supply Chain & Procurement Year in Industry at QinetiQ
On Wednesday 29th March, DPRTE took place in Farnborough. It was my first experience of attending a tradeshow and it was a very busy day, filled with meeting new people and listening to an array of different talks.
Along with company stands, there were five zones for speakers and a zone for 1-2-1s to ‘Meet the Buyer’ with Prime Contractors, attended by our own Viola Gajda and Richard Taylor. Viola and Richard were very busy all day, as were Stewart Church and Callum Moffat who were positioned on our QinetiQ stand. Being a Year in Industry Student, it was interesting to listen in on the conversations taking place at the stand, and to see lots of SMEs interested in how they can become a supplier to QinetiQ.
The event opened with a welcome from the Meeting Chair and Keynote Address from Andrew Forzani (Director General Commercial, UK MOD); who highlighted MODs commitment to SMEs in their supply chain through the Integrated Review Refresh, the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) and the Defence Suppliers Forum (DSF) Working Group for SMEs. He ended his talk by stating that “SME spend in science and technology, needs to increase significantly”. This was followed by various talks covering topics such as engaging with SMEs, understanding Procurement Forms, Procurement Fraud, Transparency, Sustainability, Social Value and Digital Twinning. A favourite of mine was ‘Doing Business with Boeing’, was a reverse sales pitch, explaining why Suppliers should want to work with Boeing.
I also attended an Aerospace Defence and Security (ADS) Meeting on PaSMEC with industry partners to discuss further how we can capitalise on the regional defence and security clusters.
Towards the end of the day, Hannah Cowley (QinetiQ Supply Chain Lead for Sustainable Procurement) led a talk on SMEs and Net Zero, sharing what we are doing at QinetiQ. This was a fantastic talk and there was a great turnout. You can download the slides here.
Being my first time attending an event like this, I did feel a bit overwhelmed by how busy and noisy it was. There were so many conversations going on and talks to attend, I was feeling pretty tired from chatting and listening by the end of a full on day.
Despite this, I really enjoyed attending, it was a great opportunity to see and understand the difference in the conversations taking place on the stand where any individual could come and engage with QinetiQ, compared with the 1-2-1’s which were booked in. I also found it interesting to see such a wide variety of products and services being offered.
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