January 21, 2020


Case Study – Comtec Translations

Sophie Howe is founder of Comtec Translations, a certified Women Owned business (WBE), who became certified by WEConnect in 2008. Howe was introduced to our corporate member at a supplier diversity event after WEConnect Europe had made the initial introduction between the parties.

Over a period of a year, Comtec made regular contact with the member buyer to discuss requirements. Comtec was asked to quote for several projects, but the projects did not go ahead. Finally in 2009, the company submitted a detailed proposal (40 pages) as part of a procurement process, and in February 2010 was successfully awarded a contract worth over £50,000.

What Comtec learned about working with member buyers was:

  1. Whilst a multinational may have a need for your products or services, they are likely to already have an incumbent supplier in place. They may not necessarily be looking to switch suppliers, so your company must deliver greater value in some way. In this case, Comtec was able to demonstrate a particular technical expertise which differentiated it from the incumbent.
  2. The procurement process can be lengthy and detailed, so a WBE needs to be prepared to invest time and effort to secure a contract.
  3. Our company had previously bid for public sector contracts and therefore had the policies in place (supplier diversity, equality and diversity, health and safety, environmental and equal opportunities). It’s worthwhile taking the time to get these things in place as they are likely to be required by other multinational corporations and public sector bodies.
  4. Multinationals tend to have lots of experience of procuring services from large companies and less so from smaller businesses, so be prepared for this.
  5. Pay attention to the details and present your company just as professionally as a large company is likely to do. It takes time, so be patient and keep developing the relationships within the multinational.
  6. Contacts within the multinational might be spread across departments, so take time to find out who the key contacts are for your industry.
  7. Your company’s image and professionalism is important and will be judged.
  8. It’s worth it in the end!