10 February 2022 | Collaboration | Our Work

View from the top: An SME’s perspective – why join LCRIG?

An SME’s perspective – why join LCRIG?

I am in daily contact with our members, be those local authorities or the private sector who all help to make LCRIG such a dynamic organisation. This last week I was in touch with Adam May whose business has just become an Associate Member, and it was great to catch up as Adam and I both took our master’s degree together at Nottingham University in the 1990s. It was fascinating, listening to Adam share his story of Wilson Pym May (WPM).

Adam was quite candid and told me that over the last couple of years, as a director of an SME he found things harder going than usual. The natural loss of some contracts, changes in personnel together with the implications of COVID have certainly hampered their progress. He told me this had stifled opportunities to get in front of “the right people” and, while Teams or Zoom meetings have kept communications open, building new, strong and lasting bonds with clients has been more difficult.

He went on to say “Being an SME is tough enough already, whether that is as simple as finding the right contact to talk to within an organisation or being lucky enough to propose your latest product at a time that is also right for your client. Even when you do strike gold, maybe with your product going in to support service delivery for one contract of a tier 1 provider, getting that product into other contracts with the same provider is often extremely difficult. When we encounter this particular problem, it often seems to me that all parties are missing out; not only us in terms of a sale, but also our clients and their customers in terms of spreading a good, if not best, practice wider in the sector for the benefit of all. If your innovation is great and delivers tangible benefits for one contract, why not for all of them?”

He sees LCRIG as a potential solution to these barriers. He is excited that LCRIG brings together the whole highways community – clients, providers (at every level of the supply chain), local politicians and academia as this will present the opportunity to expand their relationships beyond tier 1 contractors allowing them to engage directly with local authority clients and share experiences with other like-minded SMEs.

They were even more impressed to learn that LCRIG is working towards rolling out a dynamic purchasing system and implementing an Innovation Festival where SME’s can demonstrate their innovations with attendance from LA clients and other private sector organisations. This is exactly what an SME like WPM needs. A large and diverse customer and contacts base in the sector, which can put them in front of the right people at the right time; the opportunities to present, promote and share innovation and learning; and an opportunity to grow their business. Unsurprisingly, this aligns with every other member whose overriding reason for joining LCRIG was the opportunity to share innovation and best practice through the highways community that LCRIG has created.

LCRIG is the only organisation as a CIC that reinvests every penny back into the sector and whose success is based on bringing the whole highways community together for the greater good as this creates new relationships, speeds up innovation and delivers on common goals that will keep our sector vibrant.