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Building new business through the ICN Gateway

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Kate de Lautour

More often than not, going the extra mile can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to creating new business leads. 

Brendon Trower from Onekawa fibreglass manufacturing firm Tru-Tech Fibreglass Industries Ltd says taking the time to register the family business on the, government- funded, Industry Capability Network (ICN) Gateway website, has given him access to potentially multi-million dollar private and public sector projects, the moment they come up for tender.

The website is actually funded by the Australian State governments and in New Zealand, by central government. The projects listed total around $250 billion – these are mainly in Australia, but an increasing number are from New Zealand, and there’s plenty in the health, oil and gas and mining sectors. But that’s not stopping local firms being a part of the tendering process.

Trower says he now gets to see what’s going on in the world and to find out about projects that he wouldn’t otherwise know about. 

“A lot of small businesses wouldn’t have a clue what project opportunities are out there, and you don’t have to be large to get involved in a big project,” Trower explains.

“For example you might not be the main tenderer in a hospital rebuild, but if you want that main company to know what your business has to offer them, then that’s where the benefits are. 

“At the end of the day it’s potential work coming in – and yes it takes a few minutes to check emails each day and see what’s there, but it’s another avenue to look for business.”

Currently Tru-Tech is involved in the tendering process for a large-scale project in the Australian health sector. This involves the firm’s fibreglass birthing pools. These pools caught the attention of Wellington-based Industry Capability Network (ICN) project procurement advisor Ian Mallett. 

“Businesses need to register on the Gateway site because it’s only when they are on our system that we can help them search for project opportunities.”

Part of Mallett’s role is to bring together clusters of smaller New Zealand firms, to bid together for projects. 

“We are working with a large range of companies but a number of these are small firms, with small aspirations.”

Companies using the Gateway website will often find another complementary business to join forces with, when pitching for the big tenders.

Mallett uses an example of two companies making different products for operating theatres. 

“These two firms, one making equipment and the other video control software and cabling, are now working together and integrating into parts of each other’s business.”

To register your business on the ICN Gateway site log on to: gateway.icn.govt.nz or phone (04) 816 8258