• Printing their way through contracts

    Winning contracts through competitive processes signifies the giant leaps Western Australian Disability Enterprises (WADEs) are taking.

    WorkCover WA recently awarded a one-year printing contract to WADE Westcare, with a potential value of up to $100,000.

    During the procurement-planning phase, WorkCover WA decided to skip the exemption process and go to a competitive process to find the best suitable supplier.

    “We wanted to test the market, and see what the suppliers could provide,” said WorkCover WA’s Procurement and Contracts Coordinator Arya Mohammad.

    “Westcare addressed all of the criteria in a clear and concise manner and we felt it provided value for money.

    “Westcare’s submission comprehensively addressed the selection criteria, so we were happy to award it the contract.”

    What this means for Westcare and WADEs alike, is that they can continue to support a large number of disabled people with work.

    As we enter 2014, the WADEs continue to work on being recognised as commercial businesses, with Westcare focused on developing its reputation and expanding its business.

    “We are like all other commercial businesses out there, we just happen to hire people with a disability,” said Westcare’s Andrew Larter, the General Manager of the print division.

    “We have the same expectations of our staff just like any other commercial business, we have to be commercially viable to survive.”

    Good communication and strong relationship-building has meant this contract has kicked off without a hitch.

    Westcare provides WorkCover WA with the option of seeing its jobs on the printing press to highlight the professional and efficient way it develops its products.

    “We believe this helps manage expectations,” said Andrew.

    “Timeframes are critical in the printing industry and we are happy to stand by our processes and show our customers their work being manufactured.”

    It is this approach to customer service and relationship building that Westcare embraces and believes will help develop its reputation.

    “We like to be flexible to our customers. If they have a need we think we can provide, we will acquire the tools or facilities to do so.”

    Westcare’s customer and commercial focus doesn’t detract from the support it has for its workers.

    The Westcare accommodation village, which is not too far from the Nedlands workshop, comprises 42 self-contained units.

    “Westcare provides village-style accommodation for working-age adults with a disability. The service provides meals, basic housekeeping, gardening and maintenance”, said Andrew.

    “We also support individuals who desire to live independently in the community offering a Transitional Living Program that teaches a range of skills needed to live a productive, safe and happy life in the community”

    Westcare has strong and clear expectations of itself, and expects to provide professional services to a standard like any other business. It’s this attitude that points to a bright year ahead and potentially many more contracts to be won.

    Published date: 19 February 2014