What Happens in Vegas . . . .

24Jun11

WOW!!  Into our 4th day at the aptly named  WBENC Opportunty Connection.   We’re here as part of a Canadian Delegation, and in turn, a delegation sponsored by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and NLOWE.   Our friends in the US have, in the past 15 years, managed to develop ways to promote the integration of diversity into the supply chains for both global companies and smaller ones.  We’re not there in Canada yet, but there are some organizations who are helping to make it happen.

Because of the supplier diversity mandate that many corporations have, they are eager to meet women owned and managed businesses.  (called WBE’s or “weebees”)  The process of certification that is now used in Canada, Europe, Peru and India began in the USA, and third party certification is the key to being recognized by these USA companies.   BrenKir is certified, and so we were invited to come down and be part of this trade show.  In essence, it’s a reverse trade show.  We, as ‘sellers’ walk around and talk to buyers, who are in their booths trying to connect women owned businesses to their supply chain. Now, in case you think that a woman owned business would get a large corporation to take a look at the business ONLY because it’s a WBE, let me clarify for you . . . we still have to be able to do the work.  It’s not a ‘gimmee’ at all – what the certification does is give you a bit better opportunity to get in the door, that’s all.

However, if there’s a crack in the door at all you know that Newfoundland and Labrador companies are going to get through it! It was so great to see our peers from local companies competing with the best of them in Las Vegas.  We were fortunate enough to be able to secure a meeting with some corporate buyers who were interested in FR workwear, which as BK cusomters know is a bit of a specialty of ours.  Fingers crossed . . . although professional poker player Annie Duke, who was one of our keynote speakers, made it pretty clear to us that really, luck has very little to do with winning – either in poker or in contracts.  It’s a matter of understanding the hand you are dealt and how you need to bid . . . good lessons in the city where betting is an art form.

So, where will this take BK?  We’re  establishing a US presence through our New Hampshire office . . . and we are playing our hands to win.

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