• The new portals have worked with over 1700 Defence companies. (Supplied)
    The new portals have worked with over 1700 Defence companies. (Supplied)

Assembling an Australian industry team to support a large prime contractor in delivery of major defence projects is a big and complex task. Australian, veteran-owned company BenchOn has an automated supplier matching platform designed to help make that task simpler for SMEs.

BenchOn's algorithm was originally designed to match demand for specialist talent, to businesses who had the right employee with excess capacity who could be utilised temporarily by another company.

However, during a demonstration of the system in late 2019, Hanwha executives expressed interest in using the platform to not only match suppliers for talent-based opportunities, but also to handle the tenders for products, services and manufacturing.

“We were looking for a system that would provide Australian SMEs with free and fair access to Hanwha’s work packages that best suited them,” Richard Cho, Managing Director of Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA), said. “The BenchOn platform did that so well for talent, that we then wanted to see what it could do for our supply chain as well."

BenchOn worked closely with Hanwha from that point to design the processes and user interface from first principles and launched Australia’s first Industry Network Portal for HDA in March 2020.

“With Hanwha’s vision and support for where the platform could go, we realised we had only just scratched the surface with the talent matching platform and that the technology could be evolved quite quickly to manage tenders more effectively as well," Tim Walmsley, CEO of BenchOn, said.

BenchOn has now expanded their platform into the Supply Chain Management and AIC Reporting sectors.

“Key to this new tool succeeding was to reduce the onerous information collection requirements on SMEs while also protecting the sensitive project information, by only releasing tenders or opportunities to those companies cleared and suitable for the task," Katie Walmsley, COO of BenchOn, said. “Building this from scratch with today’s technology allowed us to really rethink the best way to conduct Defence Tenders and Supplier Management to make it easier, cheaper and more secure for all involved.”

The new portals have worked with over 1,700 Defence companies using the platform including over 500 that are now linked directly to HDA’s Portal.

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