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Improving engagement between water utilities and SME’s in Australia and New Zealand

Conversations with a number of Small to Medium Enterprises (SME's) who supply water businesses indicate there is a potential opportunity to enhance the way water businesses engage with SME suppliers to increase innovation and the ability to uptake new technology. The suggestion is that there would be benefit in a conversation between both parties to look at current issues and options for improving contracting and engagement with SMEs. The proposed approach is for an initial survey of SME’s and water businesses to document the perceived areas of value and benefit along with current issues. These would be summarised in a written report that would underpin a number of workshops between water businesses and SME suppliers to talk through options for better contracting and engagement.

This approach would be supported by three of the peak bodies for water businesses and their related SME’s – the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), the Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IoTAA), and the Australian Water Association (AWA).

The questions in the survey are around:

  • To what extent do you feel Australian and New Zealand water utilities support SMEs?
  • What value do you think SME’s could bring?
  • What could be done by water utilities to improve working with SMEs?
  • What could be done by SMEs to improve working with water utilities?

The survey is open for three weeks, closing 5pm AEST on Monday 4 October. If you would like to participate, please respond to the survey using this link.