Online portal launched to connect local suppliers with major manufacturers

L-R: Rose Mary Stalker, Anne Donaghy and Gregg McKeen
L-R: Rose Mary Stalker, Anne Donaghy and Gregg McKeen L-R: Rose Mary Stalker, Anne Donaghy and Gregg McKeen

A NEW online portal has been launched to connect local suppliers with large manufacturing firms.

The free-to-use ‘BuySupplyNI’ portal has been developed by a new manufacturing task force (MTF) launched in the mid Antrim area, with funding from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC).

It aims to reduce lead times and logistics costs, offering participating firms gaining a greater ability to manage and communicate with suppliers.

The task force behind it has said buyers could see reduced costs of sourcing materials and components and reduced lead times for delivery of finished goods through buying locally.

The launch of the portal follows a series of major blows to manufacturing in the area, including the closure of JTI Gallaher, Michelin and the collapse of Wrightbus. The Ballymena busmaker has since reopened under new ownership.

Invest NI chair Rose Mary Stalker, who has chaired the MTF in the district, described the portal as a tremendous example of industry-led collaboration

“I would strongly encourage all manufacturers to register on the site and begin to make connections which will benefit buyers and sellers alike.

“I would also thank MEA for sponsoring this cross-council initiative and encourage those councils who have not yet engaged to do so.”

Councillor Gregg McKeen, who chairs MEABC’s economic growth and tourism committee, said the portal needs the support of buyers and suppliers.

“We believe BuySupplyNI will take some of the complications out of the buying process and simplify the process of supplying within manufacturing through the direct links which can be established.”