BHP platformfor suppliers

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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It is hoped local suppliers will gain a leg up in the Pilbara mining industry as BHP announces a new online registration program to improve supplier engagement.

Targeting small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time equivalent employees, the BHP WA Local Buy Program is an extension of the pilot program implemented in Queensland and New South Wales.

The program’s pre-registration opens this week ahead of its September rollout.

A BHP spokeswoman said the mining giant hoped to build on the existing engagement with local suppliers in the Pilbara.

The program will build on this engagement by providing a dedicated purchasing platform through which BHP can showcase opportunities through a single online portal.

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BHP general manager of port Chris Dark said the new program was about further increasing opportunities for local businesses to support the local economy and deliver flow-on benefits to the Pilbara community.

“It will help us build on the more than $25 billion worth of goods and services we have procured from WA businesses over the last five years,” he said.

“Based on a successful model piloted by BHP’s Queensland business, the new program makes it easier for small local business, including indigenous suppliers, to tender for work with BHP.

“We have seen what a difference it can make to local communities and want to make sure that the Pilbara benefits from it too.”

The program aims at making the local-supplier process shorter and more streamlined, including offering shorter payment terms of 21 days for suppliers from submission claims.

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BHP has contracted C-Res, a cost-neutral entity, to provide suppliers with the online platform through which they can directly interact with people from procurement at BHP and will allow them to keep their supplier information up to date.

C-Res will also have a team of advisers based in the Pilbara to work closely with suppliers and community partners to provide on the ground support with the new program as well as offer development and training programs, funded by BHP.

According to BHP, more than 80 per cent of operational spend in the 2016 financial year was with WA suppliers and engaged about 600 WA businesses. Over the past five years BHP has procured more than $25 billion worth of goods and services from WA suppliers.

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