Do SMEs in rail get the recognition they deserve?

As an SME business working in the Rail Signalling & Telecoms sector our teams got together to have a look at the benefits of working with a smaller business. We decided to do this as unfortunately within the rail sector SMEs are still not given the recognition or access to direct contracts. Indeed, once we completed the exercise, we were quite surprised with the total number of benefits that we all came up with:

1)     As an SME our specialist teams work at ground level which means that we are closer to our customers, whilst constantly supervising any project activities & being able to adapt to any emergencies in-situ immediately.

2)     There’s something special about an SME company which is run entirely by the people who built it, something which the owner of SigTech Rail – Pete Lindley can concur with.

3)     All our employees share the same founding philosophy which leads to a brilliant distinct working culture & sets us apart from our competitors and is something which our customers continually buy into.

4)    There’s nothing worse than a demoralised workforce so all our teams have direct access to someone who can support them; whether this be with mental health issues, more training or just someone there to talk to. This enables us as a business to rectify or address any problems that our employees maybe be experiencing.

5)     If market conditions change then we as an SME, are very capable of adapting to any new dilemmas or industry constraints, something which Covid has taught us all.

6)     We believe that we are more agile and flexible than larger corporations, who may be tied down by lots of bureaucracy and red tape. Consequently, our decisions do not have to be filtered through multiple layers of management.

7)     We make all our business decisions decisively and act on them quickly. Prioritising workload and getting a job done safely, efficiently, on time and to budget.

8)     Less bureaucracy and red tape to get through means we can readily take advantage of any small market niches.

9)     Communications between our teams on the ground and our customers runs more fluidly.

10)  Having fewer overhead costs means that we are extremely cost efficient to employ.

11)  We encourage entrepreneurship and ownership between our team whilst continually developing & training them to become the very best that they can be.

12)  We take pride in helping other contractors that we work alongside with, as indeed they are our allies, and if needed we will help them to save the day.

So, do you think SMEs get the recognition they deserve?  Or could the rail industry do more to encourage collaboration with smaller highly skilled agile businesses?