Local procurement on the rise as company strengthens support

As a key developer of large-scale integrated resorts in the city, Sands China Ltd. must source world-class products and services that have appropriate quality levels, competitive pricing, and are delivered on time.

In doing that, Sands China is strongly dedicated to strengthening the community by purchasing from local suppliers – heeding to the government’s call for supporting local firms.

Meanwhile, Sands China’s parent company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., continues to be mindful of the cultural and regulatory requirements at each of its properties while establishing its global presence and procurement strategies. 

In line with those goals, Sands China has been launching a series of programs for Macau’s local SMEs over the last several years, in a bid to support local suppliers and to help them uphold the same high service and production standards that Sands China implements in its own operations.

In support of Macau’s development into a world-class destination, Sands China was the first gaming operator to launch an SME supplier support program with the Macao Chamber of Commerce in 2015. 

As part of that program, Sands China launched the Sands Procurement Academy in 2017, which it co-organised with the Macao Chamber of Commerce and the Macau Productivity and Technology Centre (CPTTM). The academy is the first-of-its-kind industry training, focused on delivering practical knowledge to local SMEs, and is an initiative under the Training and Development pillar of the company’s F.I.T. Program, whose other two SME support pillars are Financial Support and Invitational Matching.

The business knowledge and skills that the academy shares with local SME suppliers helps promote the development of their businesses, specifically targeting four types of local suppliers: SMEs, micro-enterprises, Macau young entrepreneurs, and “Made-in-Macau” enterprises.

Since the programme’s launch, more than 6,300 training hours have been delivered. Nearly 370 suppliers have enrolled to date and over 330 have already graduated. 

Through the program, the company seeks to continually increase and strengthen procurement between Sands China and local SME suppliers by enhancing their capabilities.

Just last month, Sands China welcomed the 10th cohort of local SME suppliers into the Sands Procurement Academy.

Buying local

Sands China has long aligned itself with the Macau government’s initiative to “buy local” and has demonstrated its commitment to supporting local enterprises as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Sands China’s supplier relationship management strategy guides the company’s long-standing effort to support local suppliers, whom it views as its strategic partners.

As a result, the company’s local procurement ratio stands at 89% as of 2020.

As a further support to local suppliers, Sands China held 24 local supplier roadshows from 2019 to 2021 at the back-of-house team member areas of the company’s integrated resorts. A total of 79 local suppliers were able to offer their products and services to Sands China team members, earning them MOP 20 million in sales.

Honoring local suppliers 

The company has always expressed its appreciation to its suppliers. Since 2013, Sands China has been annually hosting the Sands Supplier Excellence Awards to recognise the outstanding cooperation and services of its suppliers.

The awards are a global initiative of Las Vegas Sands, with winners in Macau selected by a judging committee comprised of Sands China executive management. The awards recognize suppliers in seven categories: small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME), corporate culture and sustainability, cost management, service excellence, project management, total quality management, and innovation. 

Expedited payment programme for struggling SMEs

The pandemic crisis has brought forth significant economic downturn resulting in revenue losses for businesses. Sands China upheld its business philosophy of supporting the growth of local SMEs amid the pandemic by proactively contacting all its SME partners by phone at the onset of the pandemic, to better understand their financial and operational challenges and needs.

This year, Sands China launched the 2021 SME Expedited Payment Programme to help the company’s local SME suppliers navigate the challenging business environment arising from the Covid-19 pandemic by easing their cash flow pressures amidst operational challenges.

Between Nov. 1, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022, Sands China’s SME partners can apply to have their payment terms shortened from the current 30 days to seven days – in similar fashion to Sands China’s first expedited payment program in 2017 that followed the destruction of Typhoon Hato.

Free business platform through shopping carnival

For the second straight year, this past July’s Sands Shopping Carnival provided a free business platform for local SMEs and Sands retailers amid the pandemic period to showcase and sell their products and services to residents and tourists. 

As the largest sale event in Macau, the free-admission carnival features over 500 booths and supports the Macau SAR government’s Consume for the Economy initiative and consumption e-voucher scheme. The 2020 and 2021 carnivals attracted a combined total of more than 210,000 visits with three days of weekend shopping, activities and entertainment.

Among the carnival’s 518 booths in 2020 and 560 booths in 2021, SMEs comprised around half of the booths, at 257 booths in 2020 and 268 in 2021.

Sands China Procurement By The Numbers

BETWEEN 2016-2020

  • Total procurement spend: MOP 70.4 billion 
  • Procurement from local enterprises: MOP 57.3 billion
  • Procurement from local SMEs: MOP 12.5 billion 
  • Total spend on the three types of local enterprises: MOP 6.9 billion
  • Average number of suppliers in cooperation each year: 2,393 
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