Many of our members fall into the government definition of an SME, however RFEM understands that this term covers a vast array of organisations and that a small family run business is very different to a company employing say 250 people. A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work and so our SME support is flexible and responsive to what individual organisations want and need.

Feedback tells us
• more needs to be done across the rail industry to improve relationships between OEMs and SMEs
• the `day-job` often prohibits SME`s attending events. Better engagement would follow if events were smaller, specific to a certain area / topic and held early evening rather than during the day.
• there is a real interest in collaborative working with other SMEs and more visibility of the rail supply chain to members would help encourage this further
• Long term infrastructure projects such as HS2 are seen as too high level – SMEs have a shorter term focus
• Barriers to growth include the cost of assurances (ISO / IRIS) and OEM audits. Skills shortages and training of staff with the associated risks of retention once training is completed. General expense of employment in terms or HR / Pension provision etc.

This feedback is addressed in our strategy and forward plans.