Having worked in corporate environments and gone through several procurement change programmes, the founder made the decision to move to the dark side of consulting about fifteen years ago. After a few years in the industry and a lifestyle move to South West Wales, the question was asked ‘Why not set-up my own procurement consulting and training business?’ which happened back in 2007. The firm faced the same challenges faced by most start-ups, namely getting its name out there by creating a web site and getting to grips with social media. Finding the right people remains a constant challenge and despite thousands of pounds spent on advertising and agencies, the firm still struggles with the talent pipeline, having set itself very high standards. In terms of growth, the company has to manage various management functions whilst running a business and operationally delivering solutions for clients. Finally, breaking into the public sector is a huge challenge and until recently, the firm hasn’t been the size to get past the prequalification round, and for commercial reasons, have not considered it appropriate to subcontract to a competitor. Moving forward, this will be a target market for the firm alongside the private sector.

Success Factor

The business has grown for a number of reasons. First of all, the outline strategy was to double the top-line year-on-year so appropriate strategies have been deployed to make that happen. This was to be followed by growth into the USA market and winning a pan-European programme to support transport procurement. Aggressive marketing on the training and development side for NVQs in supply chain management has rapidly positioned the firm as a large national player in this space and created other opportunities. Finally, lots of hard work and striving for high standards

The Future

Awareness is a key first step and being shortlisted for prestigious awards such as Fast Growth 50 will help tremendously. Springtide Consulting is not a well-known brand and so far have operated pretty much under the radar. As a result, the firm has made a big step for us by investing in dedicated marketing and business development activity. Plans are still evolving but its simple strategy has been to double the size of the business annually. While maintaining its current position in the training and development field, there are other immediate areas and solutions that it wants to target, namely the Welsh market, the UK public sector, transport procurement for various sectors, supporting and embedding procurement technology solutions, transformation and cost reduction programmes, and market intelligence support for procurement functions. It is already a leading specialist in transport procurement, being short-listed for another national award with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, so the immediate focus will be to replicate and provide compelling solutions to other organisations spending money in this space. Springtide is due to open offices in the USA and will provide the same range of procurement solutions, building upon on-going work globally for a leading pharmaceutical business. Also, succession planning is essential and wants to find the best local talent out there to help drive the business forward to the next level.