PATENTED APPROACH TO PROCUREMENT DRIVES Q NINE PARTNERS’ SUCCESS
Ask the average business person what they understand a patent to be and chances are they’ll relate it to some aspect of product design. The team at Q NINE Partners in The Base take a different view, however.
They’re currently finalising the patent for their unique purchasing methodology that helps their client base save millions of pounds each year on everything from stationery to legal services, energy supplies to computer systems.
And, says managing director Mike Watson, it’s only part of a picture that is driving their growth and raising performance levels for clients.
“Technology is such an enabler for us and our clients,” says Mike. “We combine it with the intelligence of our approach to give us quite a performance edge and it’s this that is patentable. Taking a very holistic approach to clients’ procurement needs sets our methodology further apart and backing it up with heavy investment in IT underpins it all.”
Mike believes that digitisation of transactions together with increasing deployment of artificial intelligence will further change the way mid and large companies procure products and services. He’s investing heavily in both areas as a consequence and says his neighbours within The Base are a ‘major plus’ to being in the building.
“You meet so many interesting people here at the various networking events and we’re collaborating with several now on innovations that will be key to our maintaining our market lead,” adds Mike.
That lead sees Q NINE Partners as one of the country’s foremost procurement service providers within its market space, supporting medium and large service businesses with turnovers typically between £20m – £500m. The company employs 8 staff and is currently on the look-out for two digital experts that can drive forward its digitisation programme.
“This is the start of a new growth phase for us,” Mike explains. “Many of our clients are tightly regulated and so being able to demonstrate our best practice in technology deployment as well as procurement methodology is important to them. The patent is designed, in part, to reinforce just how much of a lead we have taken and provides a great deal of reassurance to clients.”
Inevitably, the B-word raises its head and Mike says that Brexit represents an opportunity for Q NINE Partners as it is likely to require clients to review their supplier rosters and purchasing approach. “We are helping numerous clients re-focus their approach in light of the changes that Brexit will bring,” he notes.
And with growth of his own business certain Mike feels The Base offers Q NINE Partners just the home they need, citing the flexibility of the building and the proactivity of the management regime as important. “We need that flexibility and appreciate the support we get, particularly from the Partners programme,” he says.
“The building represents our brand standards perfectly and it’s a great environment to be in. We’re collaborating with neighbours and enjoy the networking events and want to lock-in to more of the same.”
The company’s clients are UK and European-based and Mike is frequently on a train or plane to see them. He says in that context Warrington’s connectivity and locational advantages are a major asset.
“We’re on the main line to London and have two major international airports a taxi-ride away on either side of us. Not many places can boast that,” he concludes.