Marie-Pier St-Hilaire has made procurement with suppliers from across Quebec her personal mission. The president of Edgenda/AFI, a consulting firm in the area of business transformation, on both the human and technological levels, has many arguments to support her philosophy. "Using suppliers from outside Quebec results in jobs being eliminated here. The choices we make as an enterprise have a direct impact on the people around us. Our society can become sick if our procurement decisions are made solely in the interest of saving a few dollars," she points out.
At Edgenda, this means procuring coffee, cookies and other snacks popular at vocational training establishments from local enterprises, like Café Morgane, rather than from multinational chains. While the gesture itself may be small, it does foster skill development among tens of thousands of people annually. "It's true we pay more for local products than for those made on the other side of the world, and that's fine. You have to view the additional cost as a long-term investment," adds St-Hilaire.
Implementing these principles in one's enterprise may be difficult. Luckily, many solutions exist, such as performance indicators to encourage team members to identify local suppliers. "There are a myriad of little-known SMEs providing excellent products and services. You just have to make the effort to find them," she says.
The enterprise is also working with Spektrum Media to develop technological solutions for its website. Their business relationship was showcased in the advertising for the Doing Business Together section of the OSEntreprendre Challenge.
This is the number of litres of coffee purchased annually from a local business, if we consider that each person trained by Edgenda/AFI drinks a 350-ml cup of coffee.