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North West automotive businesses meet buyers and benefit from mentoring in how to sell to major manufacturers


SMMT Meet the Buyer event, Chester, 2011


The Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA) Business Excellence (BE) programme provided support to assist North West companies to attend a regional SMMT Meet the Buyer event, and also with preparation for the event. This preparation took the form of a mentoring programme to assist NAA companies to present to buyers from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and larger suppliers in the most effective way. The Meet the Buyer event was held on 8 November 2011 in Chester in conjunction with the SMMT and it was sponsored by Cheshire West & Chester Council, Marketing Cheshire and the NAA.


To facilitate the opportunity for North West companies to meet potential new customers at the SMMT Meet the Buyer event, and to provide coaching prior to the event in order to maximise the effectiveness of meetings with buyers.


One of the challenges that vehicle manufacturers find with new suppliers is that they don’t understand their requirements and therefore fail to prepare appropriately for meetings, which results in them being dismissed from the thinking of the buyers. Therefore many automotive suppliers would benefit from improving the way that they present themselves to potential buyers.


The NAA BE programme provided professional support for companies that attended the Meet the Buyer event in order to enhance their presentations to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. This was in the form of a half-day seminar for companies who could attend, with training materials provided to all companies. Support was provided by Xemptor Consulting Limited, a company which specialises in procurement. Xemptor staff have experience as buyers in the automotive industry, so the company is well placed to offer advice to businesses looking to sell to OEMs. Large OEMs want suppliers to offer a high level of support, and the approach for this project was to ensure that the North West companies went into meetings with this as part of their mindset.


The Meet the Buyer event included OEMs such as BMW, Leyland Trucks and GM, together with a number of Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers. There were one-to-one meetings at the event between buyers and suppliers. A number of discussions led to subsequent follow-up meetings.

Clare Farnworth, director at Xemptor, says

“There were many positive comments from both buyers and suppliers from the Meet the Buyer event. Companies went into the meetings knowing that they had to give the buyers what they were looking for. The discussions were obviously confidential but we’re aware that some have led to follow-up meetings. Other meetings provided suppliers with useful feedback to assist with their approaches in the future, such as about the need to present a professional image of their businesses through marketing channels such as their websites.”

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