Over the last 25 years, UNIDO has established Subcontracting and Partnership Exchanges (SPXs) with the objective of helping local enterprises to successfully meet the challenges of globalization and to take advantage of the emerging opportunities that evolve from industrial subcontracting, outsourcing and supply chain opportunities.
This original network has provided an information portal for matchmaking suppliers and buyers, and has been effective in dealing with short-term buying contracts on the basis of ‘requests for quotations’.
In response to the changing dynamics of international business operations, UNIDO has revised the SPX programme to augment the SPX service proposition to buyers and suppliers in the various countries and complement the matchmaking function of the programme.
The new approach involves active engagement with the procurement and local sourcing departments of large companies, identifying and mapping requirements and generating needs analysis emanating from these procurement strategies and plans.
Potential local suppliers, in turn, benefit from rigorous profiling and benchmarking assessments, both exercises based on specific UNIDO tools. Benchmarking assessment through a team of trained facilitators (to ensure uniformity and comparability) is provided to local firms as a service to help them assess their own competitive position and understand their weaknesses and gaps with respect to buyer expectations. This clear analysis can be used to develop specific upgrading and investment plans required to become competitive suppliers. The benchmarking exercise provided to a large group of local enterprises also provides a mapping of local capacities for both national development agencies and other stakeholders. Furthermore, the new generation of SPX Centres can rely on a newly established management information system which includes a comprehensive database of supplier profiles from all SPX member countries.
The value proposition of the SPX Programme to suppliers can be summed up in the following:
- SMEs receive SPX services aimed to assess their supply capacity and their upgrading prospects
- SMEs gain access to a management information system which directly links them to international buyers
On the other hand, the value proposition to buyers refers to the following:
- The SPX Office acts as a clearing house between buyers and suppliers and therefore saves buyers cost and time to maintain supplier data and in undertaking supplier audits. In addition, buyers do not need to deal with multiple institutions but can use the SPX Centre as one single point of contact for subcontracting and FDI opportunities on local and global level
- Buyers benefits from potential reductions in long-term procurement cost through collaborative supplier development partnership programmes
- Buyers can mitigate their business risk through ongoing visibility on a broad supplier base and further emphasize their role as vehicles for effective social responsibility procurement
The buyers can benefit from an SPX Centre in the following way:
- They acknowledge the major saving in the cost of maintaining supplier data and doing supplier audits
- They see the potential for a reduction in long-term procurement cost through collaborative supplier development (import substitution strategies)
- They can mitigate their business risk through ongoing visibility on a broad supplier base
- They can emphasize their role as vehicles for effective social responsibility procurement
- They do not need to deal with multiple institutions but can use the SPX Centre as one single point of contact for subcontracting and FDI opportunities on local and global level.
Depending on the institutional set up of each country, the SPX Centre is located either in a private sector association (Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturer’s Association, etc.) or a public sector institution (Investment Promotion Agency, SME Development Agency, etc.).
To see UNIDO’s network on Subcontracting and Partnerships Exchange throughout the world, please visit where we work