Mafia gets ready to aid smaller players

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SMALL businesses will get a crucial insight into how major corporates and government departments buy goods and services at the forthcoming Yorkshire Mafia conference.

The panel event – called Hey Big Spenders – features leading UK procurement specialists, together representing an annual spend of £11bn, who will tell delegates how to go about winning valuable contracts. The panel includes senior representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions, engineering giant Siemens, electronics group Thales, the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation, the Buying Team outsourcing group and Shirley Cooper, past president of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Ms Cooper said: “Quite often smaller companies enter the world of big business with no consideration for scale, size, complexity or cultural fit.

“Hopefully we will be able to help these organisations gain a better insight in to how to develop a successful relationship with key players who are in the market for their products.

“Although many companies are experiencing difficult times at the moment, the more help and advice given to existing businesses, the more chance they have to develop and thrive.”

Geoff Shepherd, who founded the Yorkshire Mafia, added: “Many small companies have absolutely no idea how to talk to or approach big businesses and even getting the chance to have a conversation in the first place can be extremely difficult.

“This session will allow them to gear up and pick the brains of big business buyers.”

The free Yorkshire Mafia conference takes place on March 21 and March 22 at The Royal Armouries in Leeds and features 150 exhibitors. It is expected to attract more than 3,000 business professionals.

The organisation started life as a small networking group on the social network LinkedIn but has since grown to nearly 9,000 members.

The Yorkshire Post is media partner for the event. To register, visit