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Small business finds success selling to government

Latrobe Valley Enterprises is a not for profit company providing employment opportunities for people with disability. Since its establishment 50 years ago, the company has been removing barriers to employment by empowering people to develop real work skills and productively contribute to the community.

Latrobe Valley Enterprises currently employs over 100 staff across five service divisions, including public grounds maintenance, sign making, recycling, business support and secure document destruction.

Supporting the Australian Government

Over the past 10 years, Latrobe Valley Enterprises has been engaged by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to help manufacture name badges and desk bars, complete brochure work and securely destroy confidential documentation. The CEO of Latrobe Valley Enterprises says the company’s engagement with DHS began after a chance encounter.

‘After attending a trade show in Melbourne, we were approached by the department to put in a quote for the manufacture of their name badges. After winning the work and delivering quality services, we have been able to extend our engagement into other areas of the department.’

More recently, Latrobe Valley Enterprises has been working with DHS to organise marketing material for the department’s BasicsCard project. The DHS Project Officer says it was an easy decision to procure from Latrobe Valley Enterprises to undertake further work with the department.

‘Latrobe Valley Enterprises worked hard during their initial contract to deliver some great results, so we decided to engage with them further on our BasicsCard project. Through this engagement, they are responsible for organising and compiling our welcome packs for customers and merchants of our BasicsCard. This includes everything from sorting products into the correct packs, finalising each pack and sending them to our service centres for distribution.’

Selling to government; a win-win

Speaking about the experience selling to government, Latrobe Valley Enterprises’ CEO says the process has brought many benefits.

‘Working with a government department like DHS is important for us as an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE). We pride ourselves on being the best at what we do and this process has certainly proven our ability to compete for work and deliver high-quality services for the Australian Government.’

‘Being a small business, work can sometimes be hard to come by, so knowing we have a contract in place with DHS also helps us budget for future work.’

The Project Officer at DHS agrees, saying the engagement with Latrobe Valley Enterprises has also been a positive experience for DHS.

‘A few years ago, I had the chance to visit them and meet the team. It was amazing to see how hard the staff work and how much they love what they do.’

‘Contracting Latrobe Valley Enterprises has taken a lot of pressure off our team and provided great value for money for the department. We value our relationship with them and can count on them to provide high-quality services. It’s nice to know we can engage with a business like Latrobe Valley Enterprises and provide meaningful work for their employees.’

Hard work the key to success

The CEO of Latrobe Valley Enterprises offers some advice for other small businesses considering selling to government.

‘Going into this engagement with DHS, I was worried about how difficult it would be to sell to the government. But I’ve since learnt that working with the Australian Government is the same as working with any other business. As long as you work hard and deliver great results, the process is easy.’

Are you interested in selling to the Australian Government? Continue to navigate this site for practical tips or visit AusTender for information on current or upcoming opportunities.