Raising ambitions for a procurement start-up

Since 2017, the  have been supporting supply chain specialist, Mark Wood, develop his start-up, Alliance Procurement Solutions. From providing ‘lightbulb’ moments to practical toolkits and ambitious growth plans, this is how we’ve helped him on his journey so far. 

Starting to create value

After almost 20 years in a range of procurement and manufacturing roles at Rolls-Royce, Mark Wood decided to establish his own business in 2016: Alliance Procurement Solutions. His company supports manufacturing SMEs to create value in their supply chain, by advising on cost management, supplier collaboration and procurement processes.

Shortly after establishing the company, Mark met a member of the Enscite team at a business event and this led on to a one-to-one diagnostic meeting with a business engagement adviser from Enscite. That meeting helped identify the needs of the business, reviewed current performance and processes, and identified achievable goals for growth.

“Sometimes as a start-up, you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Mark. “That meeting had many ‘lightbulbs’ moments, where we mapped out lots of potential ideas.”

Improving client management and marketing

One outcome from this initial diagnostic meeting was that Mark received support from academics at the University of Derby to develop core processes, such as client management. “We started off with the basics and ran through a lot of core processes for the business,” says Mark. “I then came away with a range of helpful toolkits to implement.”

Mark also attended workshops on marketing and sales, which he found very useful: ”I now have greater awareness of marketing and branding, which has enabled me to generate more business. This positions me well for future growth.”

Alliance Procurement Solutions logo

A roadmap for the years ahead

In his most recent work with Enscite (2019/20), Mark has teamed up with experts at Aston University to develop growth plans for his company for the next five to ten years. “Our future plans include tapping into the expertise at the University of Derby and Aston University through collaborative relationships — possibly with academics and also through student internships,” explains Mark. “We have also been exploring funding opportunities and Enscite will probably support me with an application in the next few months.” 

Mark summarises the impact that all this support has had on him and his business over the last few years: “The Enscite team have challenged me and helped me to look at the business differently so I can refine my service and product offering.

"When I started, I thought I had a business with a potential turnover of around £150k, but based on the recent work we’ve done, I can see it could be more like a £2 million turnover and this growth could happen quite quickly. The key is that they are helping me to build a longer-term, more sustainable business.”

Man working on machinery in the University's Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering

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