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Shannon Chamber encourages businesses to procure locally where possible.

Faraway hills may often seem greener, and such has been the case for many company procurement strategies particularly if the sub-supply capability is not thought to be available locally or nationally.


In an era when sustainable procurement is moving centre-stage, Shannon Chamber, having taken a deep dive into its members’ offerings, is encouraging companies to assess if they can source locally before going further afield.


The benefits of doing so became evident to the Chamber when its chief executive Helen Downes took a call from a member company, Smithstown Light Engineering, who was seeking to resolve an internet connectivity issue it was having. The challenge facing the company was that it needed an internet connection that would serve its two locations in Shannon, sited one kilometre apart, with a guarantee of uninterrupted supply.


As Ms Downes explains: “We pride ourselves in being a solutions-driven Chamber and were delighted to take on the task of finding the right partner for Smithstown Light Engineering, a long-standing member of the Chamber. With over three-hundred companies listed in our membership, our first port of call was to our membership directory, which resulted in us assessing local company BBnet’s offering.


“On reviewing the company, we noted that it customises scalable solutions for its clients and delivers uninterrupted, continuous service. More importantly, we saw that it proactively monitors its solutions to ensure that, when installed, they meet customer needs. With great brand awareness and a diverse customer base locally and nationally, ranging from multinational companies to small and medium-sized enterprises, we felt it had the right credentials.


“Satisfied that we had a good match for Smithstown Light Engineering’s requirements, we initiated the introduction between BBnet’s business solutions consultant, Mark Farell, and Smithstown Light Engineering’s IT manager, Piotr Cwik.


“The outcome was very positive,” says Ms Downes.


“BBnet knew instantly what was needed and quickly set about providing a dedicated wireless connection to the main building. Through extending the company’s local area network (LAN) and installing a 10Gb point-to-point solution between the two buildings, both were enabled to work off the same connection. The work was undertaken by BBnet engineers using the company’s own wireless infrastructure, resulting in a fast turnaround and no interruption to Smithstown Light Engineering’s productivity.


Descripting the impact of this introduction by Shannon Chamber, Piotr Cwik says: “Technology is central to our business. As a contract manufacturing and precision engineering solutions company for the MedTech sector, with a customer base that includes the top medical device and orthopaedic companies globally, we simply cannot afford technology issues to compromise any aspect of our business.


“Having invested €17m in new technologies over the past three years and with 75% of our machines under five years old, we needed to find a company capable of meeting our exact needs. That’s why we approached the Chamber for advice on sourcing an internet solutions company that would seamlessly connect our two manufacturing facilities in Shannon, which span over 80,000sq ft. We are delighted with the outcome and to now have a local IT solutions provider on our doorstep.”


BBnet’s Mark Farrell is equally satisfied with the successful result and to have done so within the client’s budgetary requirements.


“We were delighted to be able to provide connectivity to a local business, all made possible by an introduction by Shannon Chamber. As a company that continually invests in our network to stay ahead of the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth and to support emerging technologies, we understand the critical role information technology plays in business today. We have a proven capability in connecting geographically dispersed offices from any location. Finding the optimal solution for Smithtown Light Engineering was most gratifying,” he adds.

BBnet team

Pictured at Smithstown Light Engineering following the successful installation of dedicated internet connectivity to the company's two buildings (from left): Gurmukh Neote, CEO, BBnet; Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber; Piotr Cwik, IT manger, Smithstown Light Engineering’s; and Carol Mahony, sales and marketing executive, BBnet. Photograph by Eamon Ward.



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