Darren Race
Leanne English

Businesses urged to register for supply chain programme

Businesses attending this year’s Durham Oktoberfest event are being urged to sign up to a programme launched to support the growth of the region’s process industries’ supply chain.

NEPIC’s BASME (Business Acceleration for SMEs) programme was set up in 2012 to help regional firms which are keen to increase sales to companies within the sector.

So far the programme, which is financed by the Regional Growth Fund, has supported the creation of 450 direct and indirect jobs in the North East and 360 businesses have registered to be part of it.

Now, as it enters its final year, the team managing it has confirmed it will be exhibiting at this year’s Durham Oktoberfest event in order to attract more businesses to reach the final programme target.

Felix O’Hare, BASME Project Manager at NEPIC, said: “NEPIC launched BASME to help SMEs in the process industry supply chain to develop their sales to the sector. Using a mentoring approach with some of the sector’s most experienced managers, businesses are able to learn more about what companies look for when sub-contracting work so they can be in the strongest possible position to succeed.

“When we started in 2012 our target was to support 400 businesses so as we enter our final year we’re feeling confident.

“Our challenge now is to tap into new businesses who may be eligible for support through the programme. That’s why we confirmed our attendance at this year’s Durham Oktoberfest and have done every year since the programme was launched. We find it extremely beneficial and we encourage companies on the BASME programme to attend. As well as signing up new businesses to the scheme it provides the team with another opportunity to support our existing members and introduce companies on BASME to key figures from the sector.”

Many of the process industries’ most high profile employers are involved in the BASME programme, including LOTTE, Lucite International, Northumbrian Water and BOC while some of the businesses to have benefited include manufacturers, engineers, HR and training providers and logistics specialists.

Darren Race, project leader for Durham Oktoberfest and chairman of South Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Forum, said: “Durham Oktoberfest is all about giving regional businesses the opportunity to meet potential suppliers, customers and support organisations and the BASME programme is yet another example that it works.

“As a direct result of our event, dozens of SMEs from across the North East were able to find out more about the programme with many going on to receive invaluable support which has helped them grow and establish a stronger presence in the process industries’ supply chain. We expect even more businesses, particularly those either exhibiting or attending as a visitor, to sign up this year.”

This year’s Durham Oktoberfest will feature some of the North East’s biggest companies including Nifco, Ebac, Heerema, Northumbrian Water, AKS Precision Ball and Parker Hannifin, who are registered for Meet the Buyer, while exhibitors include Dyer Engineering, Hiatco, the Bignall Group, Eastern Seals, Inspection and Engineering Services (IES) and Microbac Ltd, as well as NEPIC’s BASME programme.

Durham Oktoberfest, which is being delivered by the North, East and South Durham Engineering Forums in partnership with NEPIC, the Advanced Manufacturing Forum, NOF Energy and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), takes place on Thursday, October 23, at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe.

Business Durham has been confirmed as one of the gold sponsors of the event and other packages are still available.

To find out more about Durham Oktoberfest and how you can get involved, either as a Meet the Buyer participant, exhibitor or sponsor, visit www.durhamoktoberfest.org.uk, email info@durhamoktoberfest.org.uk or call 0191 3037772.

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