Calgary Herald «December 17, 2015»

What benefits are there to local sourcing and procurement?

By Kim Smith via Capital Ideas in The Herald
Capital Ideas members share why buying local benefits their businesses as well as the whole community. Originally published in the Calgary Herald FP section on Thursday, November 19, 2015. Reproduced with permission. See more at:
Here’s what members of our community of business owners helping business owners had to say:
“We’ve found the benefits of sourcing local to be numerous. To begin with, it allows us to be more agile with production. For instance, if we require materials for an order we just hit up one of our local suppliers. With no waiting for stuff to arrive, we can go from receiving an order to production almost immediately. Secondly, we have developed some really great relationships with our suppliers from the face to face interaction of actually visiting their facilities to get our supplies. We also understand that money spent locally is more likely to stay local, which benefits all Calgarians. It’s not always possible to get what we need nearby, but everything we can get locally we do get locally.”
— Jeffrey Cockram, founder of Horace & Jasper Fine Accessories
“A virtuous cycle of local owners buying local. Locally-owned businesses are more likely to purchase locally. Money stays circulating in the local economy instead of leaving. Goods travel less distance, meaning less carbon, food is fresher with more nutrients remaining. Local owners are here to see the effect of their business decisions on community and the environment (and it shows). You can see for yourself or take a visit to explore the working conditions, living conditions, or quality and source.”
— Courtney Hare, public policy manager at Momentum
We have all heard that Calgary is a small big city and, when we need something, pick up the phone and just ask. When times are tight, a local supplier understands the need to communicate, negotiate and refer. When dollars are flowing, the Calgary community is generous to others. So supporting local keeps our economy moving, our people employed, our crime levels down. We need each other, we understand our own issues, and we know someone in another province or country just doesn’t get our daily struggles. Stick together, hire local, refer local, shop local, together we have power and connections.
— Sharlene Massie, CEO of About Staffing
“The biggest benefit to local sourcing and procurement is relationships! You can meet face-to-face and get to know who you’re doing business with. Trust is more easily built and you have a deeper connection than when you outsource. I’ve tried outsourcing and have found communication, time zones and relationships quite difficult. It’s much easier and much more natural to develop connection with people when they’re local because you can meet up with them as need be and really get to know them.”
— Sara Dasko, CEO at Free Mind Language Services
“When you source locally you get better customer service and better cost savings! We supply our handmade jewelry to stores across Canada, but our Calgary customers get certain perks. Speaking from a supplier perspective, our local customers experience cost savings like free shipping and are also able to get customized products. Not only that, but during a busy season like Christmas, our local retailers are able to get same day or next day delivery on popular items. We build great relationships with our local customers and I think that is something invaluable for businesses and the community at large.”
— Jameela Ghann, owner & designer of Alora Boutique
“Keeping our community strong and vibrant economically would be number one in my books. But there are many other benefits to working with others locally. Relationships are huge and what I believe really make a difference with service and commitment. While I love to connect with others online and over the phone, nothing really replaces that face-to-face human contact that truly helps us understand each other’s desires, goals and needs. The world is now considered a global village, but I think our immediate neighbors need to be our first priority. When we are a strong community, we can do so much more together to make an impact on the next community beside us, as so on and so on.”
— Trina Lo, CMO at FreshInk Communications

“Think globally, act locally! Buying locally helps preserve the environment for a sustainable way of life and community.”
— Kris Hans, strategist, Market Grade Ltd.

“Some great benefits to local sourcing and procurement is supporting and strengthening the local economy. Choosing to work with reputable local partners that you can have a face-to-face relationship with, builds community and keeps dollars within the local economy. So much work (especially online) is outsourced to the lowest bidder (typically overseas) while local companies and labour is under-utilized. Local pricing does need to adjust to the new reality of competing world-wide, but not head-on via price-matching. Businesses are willing to pay a bit extra, for the convenience and benefits of working with someone locally, as long as pricing is affordable enough. Not every expertise is available locally but when a businesses can and does hire locally, dollars get invested back into the local economy. Coming together locally can help a business survive, during touch economic times.”
— Joseph Mak, co-founder of
“There’s incredible value in dealing locally and building relationships with suppliers who can really become partners in your business’ success – and I think that the smaller you are the more important these local relationships become. In addition to providing needed goods/services for your enterprise, strong relationships with local suppliers can be a rich source of referrals, joint venture opportunities, etc. We feel it’s vital to be connected to community – dealing locally allows us to do that. Someone once asked “when everyone shops online, who’s going to sponsor your kid’s soccer team or provide resources to local non-profits?” We need to think about that! Also, dealing further away means longer lead times, which can mean holding larger inventories (cost!), and when problems happen there’s no local support. Often a lower initial cost from a distant supplier isn’t really lower when you look at the bigger picture.”
— Jeff Griffiths, co-founder, Griffiths Sheppard Consulting Group Inc.
“The benefits of local sourcing and procurement are vast including more jobs, more local taxes, more charitable contributions and greater economic resiliency. Why? Because businesses that source their supply chain needs from local vendors create a multiplier effect. For every dollar that stays in the local economy there is 2-4x the benefit to the local economy including 2-4x the income and 2-4x the jobs. Sourcing locally builds economic prosperity for all.”
— Barb Davies, community economic development coordinator, Thrive
“The greatest benefit of sourcing local suppliers is relationship! I can discuss my needs and concerns face-to-face which develops a different level of relationship than is possible by telephone, email or skype. I can put my concerns about quality and capability to rest by visiting a local factory or warehouse to discover for myself how products are made or handled. As the president of a creative agency, I am approached every day by contractors from other countries who want to do third party websites for us. While their technical skills may be acceptable, the problem lies in their inability to visit client sites to see how they do things. They can’t interpret innuendo, tone of voice, body language and the business culture in which clients operate. Full on sensory experience like sight, sound, touch – and sometimes smell – helps fully understand the client’s corporate culture and translate all of that creatively.”
— Robyn Braley, president, Unimark Creative

“That critical “personal touch” for an exceptional 1st client experience can be harder to deliver via long distance. As a Business Harmony Coach, being able to meet face-to-face enables me to appreciate stress levels, watch body-language and feel the energy exchange across the table directly. This is significant in building trust and beginning a deeper connection.”
— Yvonne Silver, Flourish – with Yvonne Silver

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