Above: Gerry Brooks, Chairman of TSTT’s Tenders Committee with businessmen Carlton Bereaux and his son Aiden Bereaux at the TSTT Vendor Forum 2017. Photo courtesy TSTT.
“With the internet of things, 5G, robotics and artificial intelligence being a big part of what is happening, the world is fundamentally different today. If TSTT is to achieve our vision to provide solutions to help consumers and businesses achieve their lifestyle and business goals, then TSTT has to become an agile broadband telecommunications company,” said Dr. Ronald Walcott, TSTT’s Chief Executive Officer, addressing hundreds of the company’s local and international vendors during TSTT’s first annual Vendors’ Forum on February 7th 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.
“To carry out this mission, we have to change our processes and improve our vendor relations, hence your presence here today. We want to partner with you to create this new world order. There is a lot for us to discuss.”
Gerry Brooks, Chairman of TSTT’s Tenders Committee, also delivered greetings on behalf of TSTT’s Chairman, Emile Elias to the 150 vendors, and other guests including Lisa Phillips, Ag. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Vashti Shrikrisensingh Jitman, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Utilities. Brooks explained that the vendor forum will help TSTT become a more focused agile broadband company and there were new opportunities for a very exciting and collaborative future for vendors and TSTT.
“TSTT sees vendors as strategic partners and we are opening up all of our opportunities to everyone,” said Brooks and he encouraged the audience to “support local development, support innovation, support private-public sector partnerships but most of all support TSTT because when TSTT wins, you (vendors) win, customers win and Trinidad and Tobago wins.”
Also speaking at the Vendor Forum, Gerard Cooper, TSTT’s Chief Financial Officer, indicated that TSTT’s vision for vendors was to create a partnership with them that would give TSTT a competitive advantage through continuous innovation in its supply chain. That partnership will play a key role in the success of the projects to be funded over the next 5 years which include TSTT’s mobile long term wireless strategy, core network rebuild, fibre deployment, new business support systems and TSTT’s joint venture with E-IDCOT for a new Data Centre in Tobago.
All told, Cooper said TSTT’s Capital and Operational expenditure will be in excess of TT$8 billion and the company had improved the robustness of its E-tender online procurement system to facilitate easier vendor participation in tendering for providing services required by TSTT. Noting the tremendous opportunity this presented for vendors, Cooper assured the audience that ongoing initiatives to improve TSTT’s procurement system will provide stronger governance and the continuous innovation needed to support a fair and transparent system that was inclusive to all vendors.
Cooper explained that TSTT’s new approach to vendor relations was being guided by four pillars of the company’s supply chain improvement…
- Fostering entrepreneurial growth
- Institutional strengthening by building capacity for supply partners
- Building long term partnerships by deepening relationships with supply partners
- Improving the governance model and leveling the playing field to achieve better Request For Proposals (RFP) responses.
Keino Cox, TSTT’s Senior Manager Supply Chain unveiled the upgraded TSTT e-Tender portal, the first totally local-developed, digital procurement platform. He remarked that TSTT moved to an online procurement system to provide an open and transparent, simplified process that cut costs and improved convenience for vendors and provided real-time data for them.
“The online platform has allowed TSTT to expand its reach of vendors globally with over 3,000 registered vendors from Trinidad and Tobago and countries such as the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Belize, Barbados and Jamaica. He noted that with over 4,000 Purchase Orders issued, 2,000 tender bid responses received and $100M TTD of negotiated savings, TSTT was very happy with how E-Tender has developed, and going forward the platform will be the only way to do procurement business with TSTT.
To allow vendors the opportunity to get more details on specific areas of interest, roundtable discussions were also hosted by with Roger Richards, TSTT’s Chief Technology and Information Officer; Carol David, TSTT’s EVP Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Corporate Support Services; Miguel Garcia, TSTT’s Chief Commercial Officer; Rakesh Goswami, TSTT’s EVP Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations and Sathnarain Tewarie, TSTT’s GM Fibre, who focused on plans to provide fibre to residential and business areas.