Pakistan is the latest in a growing list of countries that have been licensed to benchmark through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (SPX) Programme. This well established initiative is designed to increase the competitiveness of local suppliers in emerging and developing economies. It has been operating for over 35 years, and during this time it has supported many thousands of businesses to upgrade their capabilities and resources to contribute effectively within local and international supply chains.
Winning Moves has supported SME development in many countries, and our work in the field of business support and benchmarking uniquely positions us to work with UNIDO in helping to tackle poverty through enterprise development. The relationship has been operating for more than 8 years and we are proud to be involved in this cooperation. By adapting our BenchmarkIndex® service and incorporating this in partnership with the PROBE benchmarking methodology, we have been able to craft a system that operates very effectively as a central element of the SPX service.
Working with the Pakistan Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA), a team of 12 experienced business advisers was trained by Winning Moves Director Mark Modena. The aim of the training is to go beyond simply understanding how to use the software, concentrating predominantly on the business improvement methodology to help yield the maximum impact for the businesses supported.
The training is very practical as it includes live benchmarking exercises with businesses to help get the trained advisers started. This time we worked with 3 Tier 1 suppliers to the local automotive industry located in Lahore – Hawks Engineering, Pakistan Spring and Infinity Engineering - whose customers include Toyota, Suzuki, Honda, Mercedes, Perkins and Iveco.
The findings from the benchmarking are used for 2 main purposes….
Firstly, the results support upgrading activities in businesses to improve their competitiveness. This assistance takes a wide variety of forms, including securing funding to drive growth and sourcing technology enhancements to enable step change improvement in performance.
Secondly, the carrot for participating businesses is introduction to large government or international buyers. UNIDO use the performance capabilities of suppliers, evidenced by the benchmarking activity, to provide a supplier-buyer matching service. Where supplier capability is identified as being below the required minimum levels stipulated by purchasers, businesses will be supported to reach the standards required.
Ultimately this leads to an increasing volume of supply needs being satisfied locally rather than from imports, leading to more sustainable economies, driving future financial health of participating countries and enabling developing countries to more readily compete in a global marketplace.
The number of countries that have adopted the UNIDO Benchmarking service has now reached 17 as a result of consistent progress in recent years. As well as Pakistan, advisers from numerous African nations including South Africa, as well as China, Vietnam and Iraq are now actively using the benchmarking service to help businesses develop and gain new supply chain contracts. French and Chinese versions of the system are in place to complement the original English service, and questionnaires have been translated into Portuguese, Arabic and Kurdish to help customise the service to meet local needs.