Hewlett-Packard targets SMEs

The Government’s biggest IT supplier, Hewlett-Packard, plans to make it both simpler and easier for smaller companies to use its IT products. It plans that before the end of 2013, the number of small companies in the supply chain will have increased by 25%.

Hewlett-Packard has signed up for a voluntary scheme called Prompt Payment Code (PPC) which helps to promote the practice of ‘good payment’ by establishing an approved list of suppliers to small companies which can be accessed online. In addition, they will be launching a service dedicated to supporting small suppliers.

Mr Nick Wilson, the UK Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard, has said that they want to help small companies that don’t yet know how to make sales to larger businesses. They want to make it easy for them to provide what the big companies want, and to get on their lists.

To do this, they plan to create a dedicated team especially for small and medium enterprises which will monitor the spending of Hewlett-Packard to ensure that ‘enough’ is being spent on small suppliers. This includes sharing research as well as improving payment arrangements.

They are not the first company to do their bit to help smaller enterprises. Last September at the Festival of Business, which was hosted by the Telegraph, several big companies like Tesco, Virgin, BAE Systems, Centrica, and GSK all signed up for an initiative that would make it easier for them to offer practical help like support and advice to smaller companies in their respective supply chains.

Mr Wilson was keen to iterate that Hewlett Packard’s PPC was independent of the Festival of Business, but supported anything that helps to show that big companies aren’t ugly. They are keen to discourage the anti-big-company sentiment that has been increasing in recent years.