Rio opens por­tal for lo­cal sup­pli­ers

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Some 250 busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives at­tended in­for­ma­tion ses­sions about Rio Tinto’s new lo­cal pro­cure­ment pro­gram, held in Dampier last week.

The pro­cure­ment pro­gram, an­nounced in May, for­mally be­gan last Tues­day with the launch of an on­line por­tal ad­ver­tis­ing Rio sup­ply con­tracts for which Pil­bara busi­nesses will be pre­ferred, pro­vid­ing they have the ca­pa­bil­ity.

It will op­er­ate on a tiered sys­tem, with Pil­bara Abo­rig­i­nal-run busi­nesses and gen­eral small busi­nesses given pref­er­ence over State, then na­tional busi­nesses, as long as all nec­es­sary cri­te­ria are met.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion ses­sions are sched­uled for Tom Price and Perth this week.

Rio Tinto gen­eral man­ager for pro­cure­ment Braam Uys said the turn to­wards more lo­cal sup­pli­ers had come about from Rio’s chang­ing busi­ness model in the Pil­bara.

“We need to con­tinue to evolve our­selves to be ef­fi­cient in what we do,” he said.

“Be­cause we’ve got­ten out of con­struc­tion and the boom, we’re now into op­ti­mis­ing what we have, and part of (that) is to op­ti­mise our lo­cal sup­ply base. So it’s a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion of where we are.”

Mr Uys said the pro­gram was de­signed to be on­go­ing and sus­tain­able, and he ex­pected the num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand “ex­po­nen­tially”.

“If you look at the scope of the projects, the num­ber of 36 (projects avail­able so far), that should be bounc­ing to­wards 200 by the end of the year, be­cause this is just the be­gin­ning,” he said.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Rio’s ma­jor Pil­bara sup­pli­ers Sodexo and Mon­adelp­hous also spoke at the event.

Sodexo coastal op­er­a­tions man­ager Luke Lil­burn said his com­pany and Mon­adelp­hous, as Rio’s ma­jor sup­pli­ers, were on the same page and look­ing for­ward to work­ing to­gether to pro­mote lo­cal work.

Kar­ratha and Dis­tricts Cham­ber of Commerce and In­dus­try will sup­port the pro­gram by act­ing as a link be­tween Rio and its ma­jor sup­pli­ers and po­ten­tial lo­cal con­trac­tors the wider Kar­ratha area.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive John Lally said the pro­gram marked a shift in think­ing to­wards more lo­cal work, and de­scribed it as a “win-win” for Pil­bara-based busi­nesses and ma­jor min­ing com­pa­nies alike.

Mr Lally said the on­line por­tal pro­vided a “level play­ing field” which busi­nesses of all sizes could eas­ily ac­cess.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to ac­cess the on­line por­tal, go to ironore­sup­plier.ri­ot­into.com.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Sodexo's Luke Lil­burn, Mon­adelp­hous' Daniel Kennedy and Luke Sco­bie and Rio Tinto's Braam Uys and Jamie Robin­son at the lo­cal pro­cure­ment pro­gram in­for­ma­tion ses­sion in Dampier last week.

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