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How Can Tech & Partner Scouting Support the Procurement Function?


At Strategic Allies Ltd (SAL), we have been finding technologies – i.e. a solution to a problem or an opportunity to differentiate your offering – for our clients for nearly twenty years and we know that often more important than the technology is the partner who can deliver that technology for you. Intellectual property on its own has some value but unless you can deliver its benefits it’s little more than an academic exercise. We are committed to the belief that it’s the partners who work with you to deliver their technology that add the value and deliver innovation.

So that’s technology but let’s expand our thoughts a little bit on the “partners” side. As well as aiding R&D, Innovation Directors and the like, SAL are often engaged to find value delivering partners for Procurement Directors too. Partners are sought by purchasing departments too but they are often referred to as “suppliers” and that term covers a multitude of deliverables that a company may require.

Searches for Toll Manufacturers, Niche Suppliers and Expert Consultants are just some of ways SAL has successfully aided its global manufacturing clients recently.


Toll Manufacturers

 SAL has identified, assessed and connected its client to many toll manufacturers, offering a service to procurement departments who are either short on resource or do not have the  technical expertise to assess capability.

Examples include a chemical company who, although developing their own green chemistry capability , required toll manufacturers in that discipline that could help them scale up quickly. SAL searched globally for partners and delivered additional short and medium term resources to complement the clients move into this area. More details can be found on our website HERE.



Another example concerned a client who initially required design and then subsequently manufacturing partners, for a completely new product into a new market it was addressing. The client was committed to produce a performance enhancing, beverage product but had no experience in this area to build upon. SAL initially connected it to a variety of design companies that could help formulate the product and then toll manufacturing  partners capable of manufacturing and delivering the product globally.

A last example in this area referred to a start-up company in Asia who wanted to enter the European market with its plant-based egg product but transportation restrictions meant that a toll manufacturer in Europe was necessary. SAL uncovered 200 potential partners, over a three month project, which were then filtered down to six with whom the client entered into negotiations. More details HERE.


Niche Suppliers

Uncovering and connecting with suppliers of very niche product or services are often outside the capability of large, commodity focussed, purchasing departments.

A client case SAL recently delivered against concerned a company that redesigned out a composite element of its current product thereby making the next gen product easier to recycle. It did this by replacing an aluminium layer with a high spec polymer capable of delivering the same, aluminium-like, properties. Unfortunately once committed to manufacture, the client’s supplier of this new polymer decided to discontinue its production of the polymer in question.  SAL was therefore tasked with finding another source of the same niche material, in exactly the same form, rather than considering an alternative. Another supplier just didn’t exist … so SAL then sought companies that made the material, but in an alternative form, who were able to develop the appropriate ‘form and function’ product the client required. This search specification can be found HERE. The potential partners in question were all in Asia but SAL had the language and cultural skills to enable successful connections to be made.


Expert Consultants

Often, before a client enters a market, it undertakes a confidential landscape of that market to identify any potential opportunities/gaps and SAL undertakes these landscapes on a regular basis for many of its clients. Details of several can be found HERE. The correct experienced expert can be invaluable in the early stages of this work, and throughout the process, to provide unbiased advice to aid decision-making. SAL has delivered such experts across numerous disciplines for its clients including Toxicology, CBD Ecosystems, Production Equipment Cleaning and Sanitising, Nutraceutical Formulation, Wind Turbine Maintenance etc etc. Details of this and all the SAL services can be found on the website HERE.


To conclude, Strategic Allies Ltd (SAL)’s definition of its role as an experienced team of ‘Technology Scouts’ should probably be extended to include all the other partners we are regularly contracted to identify, assess and connect our clients to. Finding that ‘needle in a haystack’, globally and without disclosing who we are working for, is a capability that SAL has refined over the last twenty years. So, when you don’t know where you should go to find that solution, technology, manufacturer, supplier, or expert  … please think of Strategic Allies Ltd.