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Our day with Huawei

Yesterday, an OMD UK delegation headed to the Huawei partner convention – a series of presentations to their core suppliers that outlined business plans, product roadmaps, expectations for growth and critical opportunities for the next two years.

The convention was held in the scenic surroundings of the Hurlingham Club in Putney, in gardens by the river, and included a series of handset and wearable gadget demonstrations.

Huawei’s corporate story is remarkable. After starting in 1987 with under $20,000 investment, in less than 30 years their global revenue has grown to $46bn. They now have over 170,000 employees worldwide. Huawei’s success has been built on the back of a strong commitment to research and development; 45% of their entire workforce is employed in this field. Such rapid growth brings its own challenges however: the convention underpinned Huawei’s intention to establish more structured procurement processes which will standardise and streamline supplier relationships whilst maintaining their speed of expansion in 150+ international markets.

As a result, Huawei have launched a deliberate, explicit and transparent procurement strategy, aiming to work ever-closer with fewer strategic partners – this approach makes protocols easier to govern and enforce, delivers better value and incentivises suppliers. The day’s mantra was “collaborate and innovate for industry win-win”. Allied to this strategy is a roll out of technology and tools to help project management, quality control and logistics.

Huawei UK have some big goals in 2015 – to grow sales by +25%, and to hit $1bn in revenue. The convention included an awards section celebrating partners’ contribution to their success, so hopefully next year OMD UK will feature on the rostrum!

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