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Better social supplier data for buyers

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At Supply Change, the quality of data from our social enterprise suppliers underpins the strength of our platform. With this in mind, we have taken on a new intern to improve our supplier onboarding processes so that we:

  • collect better data that is useful to buyers

  • improve the onboarding experience to further break down barriers for social businesses to access our support and get more contracts

  • track diversity and inclusion data so buyers can create diverse and inclusive supply chains

Callum has joined us on placement from his biological sciences PhD at UCL, where he uses electron microscopy to investigate the role of electrical signalling malfunctions in human diseases. This might sound a world away from our work at Supply Change, but it means he regularly parses through masses of data to pick out what’s useful, while also trying to design his experiments to be as efficient as possible; skills we’re going to make use of with the following changes.

1) Improving data collection

Supply Change was founded in 2018, and during the intervening time, we have gathered a large amount of data from suppliers, to determine their suitability for the platform or to build their profiles. However, the information deemed necessary for this has evolved over time, so we are remaking our supplier onboarding forms to better reflect what buyers are interested in and what should be expected of suppliers, for example by:

  • Clarifying requests for information such as the supplier’s social mission and trade to get more useful and accurate answers

  • Improving our diversity and inclusion data e.g., ownership by disadvantaged groups and enacted inclusion policies

  • Encouraging suppliers to include more promotional material to really get their brand across

This will give us much more powerful profiles and aid buyers in finding their best matches.


RAW (pictured) provide waste wood recycling services and wood furniture manufacturing for a wide variety of commercial clients including construction companies, developers and public sector organisations. They provide social and environmental impact through sustainable practice and inclusive employment.

To find suppliers like RAW on the Supply Change Platform. Check out our platform packages on our buyer's services page.


2) Streamlining the process for suppliers

A high conversion rate from an expression of interest by a supplier into fully joining Supply Change is obviously key in expanding the platform. Considering that, we are also making the process of onboarding as straightforward as possible so that we don’t miss out on any great new social enterprises, such as by:

  • Identifying ‘chokepoints’ in our forms and adding in guidance or modifying to ensure smooth completion

  • Cutting out redundant data that we can source elsewhere

  • Integrating our onboarding with the dynamic purchasing system (DPS) to reduce the workload for suppliers and shorten the whole process of joining Supply Change

Once enacted, these changes will give the platform greater accessibility, further incentivising great suppliers to join up and providing another step towards a more ethical supply chain that benefits all our users.


Speak to to find out how the Supply Change Platform can help you engage social enterprise suppliers and increase social value in your supply chains. Or see our services for buyers page here.


To get the latest events, resources and thinking around social impact and sustainability in business subscribe to The Social Procurement Round-Up.


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