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Achilles Supplier Experience

Case Study

Achilles communities help Rainford Solutions reach new heights

Employing around 80 people, Rainford Solutions is a world-class UK-based specialist designer and manufacturer of standard and bespoke electronic equipment enclosures, cable management systems, fibre cabinets, consoles and also offers a comprehensive range of rack accessories and ancillaries  to customers around the world.

The challenge

In 2012, Rainford Solutions decided it wanted to expand into new markets.

Setting its sights on the oil and gas industry, the company realised that in order to reach relevant buyers, it needed to become an Achilles FPAL registered supplier.

A year later, the company looked to expand further into the rail and utilities industries and again found that RISQS and the Achilles UVDB community were ideal for establishing credibility with buyers and amplifying Rainford Solutions’ reputation.

‘We’re always looking to expand,’ says Julie, ‘if we weren’t a member of these three communities, we’d be limiting ourselves.’

The process

In order to become successfully qualified, Rainford Solutions had to complete an online pre-qualification questionnaire for each of the industry communities. Achilles then validated the company’s information before making it available to buyers.

Having all of its pre-qualification details available in one place saves a lot of time for Rainford Solutions, as it no longer has to fill in multiple pre-qualification questionnaires from individual buyers and now has a single resource for company information.

Guiding the company through the process of qualification and beyond, the Achilles Supplier Support Team has always been on hand. ‘Achilles are very helpful’, says Julie, ‘we contact them with any questions we have and they are always helpful and quick to respond.’

Achilles also warns qualified suppliers of any upcoming expiry dates in their details, such as insurance policies, which helps Rainford Solutions ‘keep on top of it all’.

Being a supplier on all three communities has provided Rainford Solutions with several opportunities to tender and, as Julie says, ‘we have had successes thanks to Achilles.’

‘Achilles allows us to get our foot in the door,’ says Julie Houghton, Marketing Manager at Rainford Solutions. ‘Without them we wouldn’t find out about buyers in our targeted industries, and they wouldn’t consider buying from us.’

The results

Being a supplier on RISQS, Achilles FPAL and Achilles UVDB ‘helps to get the Rainford brand out there,’ says Julie. And it delivers many other business benefits as well:

  • Accelerated marketing - As Marketing Manager, Julie knows the importance of publicising Achilles’ approval of the company’s processes. ‘We display our community stamps on our website because it promotes our brand and aids our marketing.’
  • Networking opportunities - RISQS and the Achilles communities provide opportunities for suppliers to expand their networks of buyer contacts. ‘We’ve taken advantage of quite a few events,’ says Julie, who herself has attended a Rail Meet the Buyer Event. ‘They’re a good networking opportunity.’
  • Improved product development - By being part of these communities, Rainford Solutions also gains insight into the buyer’s side of the market. ‘It helps us to know what buyers are looking for,’ explains Julie, ‘and that helps us develop products and promote them to our customers.’
  • Added support - Julie has taken part in some of the training webinars offered by Achilles to help her make the most of the platform. ‘It was a bit daunting at first,’ she admits, ‘but the online facilities are very good and so is the training provided.’

Looking ahead, Rainford Solutions hopes to continue its involvement with Achilles; being a qualified supplier ‘shows we know what we’re doing,’ says Julie. ‘We’re aware of what we need to do in the industry and we want our customers to know that. Achilles help us to achieve that.’

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