Global companies keep it local in the Gatwick Diamond

10 June 2015

Home to some of the country’s leading global businesses, the Gatwick Diamond is proving that its strong local supply chain is one of the important secrets of its success.

These are the findings of the latest Gatwick Diamond Initiative Business Barometer which is used to assess the mood of the business community in the area.  In addition to general questions about economic confidence and access to finance, the survey focused on local supply chain issues in the region and implications for growth.

The study found that there is a healthy local supply chain in operation across the Gatwick Diamond area.  Almost 90 per cent of businesses in the Gatwick Diamond buy products or services from other local businesses within the Gatwick Diamond and 43 per cent of Gatwick Diamond businesses give priority to purchasing from local suppliers.

Three quarters take into account social and community impact when deciding whether to buy locally and a further 52 per cent make their decision based on environmental impact.  Other important considerations when deciding whether to purchase locally included cost, quality and lead times.  A number of respondents expressed a preference for doing business with someone they know - which is much easier to do when they are local.

The survey also found that confidence levels are generally high, with 68 per cent of businesses expecting to grow business turnover over the next six months and 60 per cent expecting to increase their staffing levels.

Among the most commonly cited areas of concern among business were uncertainties over the availability of skilled staff to fill new jobs and the loss of office space and employment land to housing development.

Rosemary French OBE, Gatwick Diamond Initiative executive director, said: “The Gatwick Diamond is a powerhouse of economic growth, both regionally and nationally, and it is extremely important that we have a strong and healthy supply chain to support that growth.  The clusters of globally significant companies based here act as a magnet for other smaller, innovative and specialised suppliers.  We actively encourage businesses to look to the local supply chain wherever possible.  In July, we will be running a Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event in Crawley.  Now in its 14th year, Meet the Buyers is the leading regional event for suppliers to engage directly with major buyers in a series of private, pre-booked sales meetings.”

“We have seen that working with local companies brings a range of benefits: local knowledge, local people, support for the local economy and a smaller carbon footprint.  Here in the Gatwick Diamond, we are proving that success breeds success!”

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