Central Procurement Office


Support for SMEs

One of the University’s core strategic goals is around social responsibility. As a large civic university we exist to expand understanding and disseminate knowledge for the wider benefit of society. We are a global operation but founded and based firmly in Manchester where we hope to have a positive impact on our city and wider region. One area where we believe that we can make a difference is by ensuring competition within, and diversifying, our supply chain including helping to support smaller and local suppliers either directly or through our main contractors.

This is a challenge for us because there are more than 104,000 SME businesses (99% of the total number) within Greater Manchester alone and we already have more than 8,500 suppliers on our finance system, and over 80% of these class themselves as SMEs.

However, it is an opportunity as well because, where practicable, we are keen to spend as much as we can locally and with SMEs either directly or within our wider supply chain. Therefore whilst most of our strategic spend is with the 10% of our formally contracted and centrally managed suppliers we are increasingly targeting these tier one suppliers to tell us about their supply chains and demonstrate how they deliver value for money from their suppliers – this might be you.

At the centre of what we do is our commitment to be socially responsible and in particular our approach around responsible procurement; you can find out more about this, and doing business with us more generally, on our web-pages.

One key aspect of our responsible procurement approach is a more systematic means of engaging with our suppliers. We ask all of our suppliers to complete a simple, free on-line tool to tell us about their business and help us to understand their issues and strengths so that we can understand them and work more closely to achieve our individual objectives. Many of our suppliers have completed this already (more than 90% of them identifying themselves as SMEs) and using what they have told us we have produced some simple guides to help other smaller businesses to address issues and help them develop.

Contact us

Connect with us

  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon