Tackling these supply chain gaps could give your company a head start - Technical.ly Delaware

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Nov. 7, 2018 9:58 am

Tackling these supply chain gaps could give your company a head start

Knowing big businesses' pain points can give you an advantage. Here are some tips from the execs who write the checks.

Wendy Mann-Flores of Exelon (left front) does some speed networking at #DIW18.

(Photo by Holly Quinn)

Big business contracts are highly competitive, it’s no secret — but there are gaps in the supply chain where even the biggest companies can have a hard time finding the perfect match.

Six of Delaware’s top big business executives— J’nelle Lawrence, Supplier Diversity/Learning & Development Lead for The Chemours Company; Loren Hopkins-Taylor, Sourcing Manager for Small Business and Supplier Diversity for the DuPont Company; L. Jay Burks, Supplier Diversity Director of Comcast; Peggy DelFabbro, CEO of M. Davis & Sons; Wendy Mann-Flores, Diverse Business Empowerment executive for Exelon Companies; and Luis Concepcion, Global Procurement Leader Supplier Diversity & Sustainability of DuPont Sourcing and Logistics — recently spoke about their supply chain challenges at Delaware Innovation Week’s Biz Conference.

Some of the big questions were straight-forward ones: Are there gaps in the supply chain that young entrepreneurs should know about? Are there areas with a dearth of the kinds of diverse-owned businesses (i.e: businesses owned by women, people of color, people with disabilities and veterans) the above big businesses strive to partner with?

News flash: There are. These are the gaps that offer opportunity for new businesses in Delaware:

  • Logistics

From shipping and receiving to moving to a new office space, there is always a need for exceptional logistics businesses.

  • Cybersecurity

The bigger the business, the better the cybersecurity needs to be. This ever-evolving industry is always looking for innovators — and so is big businesses.

  • Tech

Big businesses want to be ahead of the game — while tech may seem like a crowded industry, there’s always a need for the new and the cutting edge.

  • Transportation

As transportation gets smarter, the number of innovative resources becomes smaller.

  • Certified line-clearance arborists

Okay, this is an oddly specific industry, but Mann-Flores of Exelon (the parent company of Delmarva Power), pointed a gap in this space. Why? Turns out that, by law, utility companies can’t hire arborists who are not specifically certified to clear tree growth around power lines. And that doesn’t just mean the actual tree trimmers — there are a limited number of owners in the category, too.

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Sometimes, gaps are temporary, and it’s the smaller businesses who are on top of the needs of big businesses who often get the contracts. For example, a merger such a Dow/DuPont means new construction, moving offices and rebranding. If you know what’s going on with big business, you can get in early.

And if what your business offers isn’t exactly rare — caterers, florists, printers, etc. — remember that big businesses actively want to do business with local companies, so don’t assume you’re too small to go after a large contract. What differentiates you from the rest? If you can put that into words, and you’re a sharp networker, you could have the potential to join the big kids’ table.

Companies: Comcast, DuPont
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