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Bay company launches platform to help navigate broken supply chain

With the impact of Covid-19 damaging global supply chains, Bay of Plenty-based businessman Paul Hewitt has created Source It New Zealand, as a solution for kiwi businesses to support each other and the domestic economy.

The kiwi entrepreneur has launched the digital platform to connect New Zealand businesses with manufacturers, distributors and producers here in our own backyard – reducing the need to navigate the broken global supply chain.

Hewitt told Bay of Plenty Business News that, from his own experience of owning distribution companies he had seen significant weekly losses as a result of supply chain issues in dealing with importers.

“I could see how bad it was going to get,” he said. “My concern was how can we develop a site with New Zealand importers to work with each other. The problem is a lot of companies won’t deal with other companies in certain ways, such as sharing a product.

“The whole purpose is you can anonymously put a job online and no one needs to know it is your company. Only a person who is a registered supplier with an actual subscription can then access the information right away because they get first mover status.”

Hewitt said the project had only recently fully launched and no longer provided, as they did in the initial period, free advertising. But they were getting reasonable traffic through the web site.

“Being in a small country with a high reliance on importing goods, it can now be extremely difficult for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get what they need manufactured, produced and distributed to keep their businesses running,” said Hewitt.

“What they may not realise is that they can actually source a lot of these goods from other businesses here in New Zealand – and without the high costs and delays they can expect from international suppliers in this new Covid world.”

Hewitt describes the site as a ‘large-scale reverse TradeMe for business’, which provides the link between New Zealand SMEs (customers) and manufacturers/distributors (suppliers), creating a platform for the customer to list the products they need, and allowing the provider to respond to relevant listings.

According to Hewitt, this effectively facilitates lead generation for the supplier, and potential suppliers of goods for the customer.

Source It aims to be a one-stop site to source everything customers need for their business, in bulk.

Being in a small country with a high reliance on importing goods, it can now be extremely difficult for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get what they need manufactured, produced and distributed to keep their businesses running. – Paul Hewitt

Unlike international supply chains, choosing local suppliers can result in lower shipping/freight costs and wait times. It is free for customers to post a listing on the Source It website.

For the manufacturer and distributor, Source It is a low-cost lead generation subscription. They sign up to Source It and receive notifications when customers post listings looking for the type of goods they can supply. Suppliers can then contact the customer and arrange quotations etc. Manufacturers and distributors pay a small monthly subscription fee to Source It.

“For years, New Zealand businesses have sourced parts and products from international suppliers. Source It will help to boost the New Zealand economy, support local businesses and even save businesses money in freight costs,” said Hewitt.

David Porter
David Porter
Editor, Bay of Plenty Business News. Email: editor@bopbusinessnews.co.nz

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