DuPont official offers tips for small-business suppliers

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Small-business owners who want to win contracts with major corporations such as DuPont Co. must learn to be persistent but not annoying.

That was part of the message presented by Ron Tutundji, director of small business and supplier diversity at Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont.

Speaking at the ProcureCon Asia 2012 conference on Friday in Chesterfield County, Tutundji listed “do’s” and “don’ts” for an audience that included many Asian-American business owners.

The “do” list for potential suppliers includes:

• Do your homework on the corporation (in this case DuPont).
• Figure out your proper fit, or niche, as a supplier.
• Differentiate your product or services, telling the corporation why it should conduct business with you.
• Develop a relationship with a buyer or representative from the corporation.
• Be persistent but not annoying. “It may take years,” for an opportunity to arise,  Tutundji said.

The buyer needs to know:
• Who you are.
• What you do.
• How do you do it better.
• Why the buyer should care (what advantageous value does your product or service have for the corporation.

Tutundji said potential suppliers with Dupont must have a good safety record, a sound financial foundation, demonstrated experience in delivering goods or services and certification (as a small, veteran-, minority- or woman-owned business or similar designation).

His “don’t” list includes
• Don’t lead with your certification (DuPont doesn’t have set-asides.)
• Don’t ask what DuPont does.
• Don’t ask what DuPont needs to have done.
• Don’t lead with pricing.
• Don’t call every week.

Potential supplier opportunities at DuPont include:

• Construction services
• Contract management
• Engineering services
• Environmental remediation
• Laboratory supplies
• Logistics services
• Packaging
• Raw materials
• Safety supplies
• Specialty chemicals
• Waste management

DuPont operates 210 sites in 90 countries. It had sales of $38 billion last year.

ProcureCon Asia 2012 was presented by the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce.


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