The OMX marketplace can be found at theomx.com.
The OMX marketplace encourages Canadian content in military procurement through the efficient facilitation of defence offsets, also known as Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB), according to OMX founder, Nicole Verkindt. Canadian sourcing has been highlighted in the media as a priority of the current government ("Tories plan 'buy Canada' military budget" - Globe & Mail - September 24, 2012).
The OMX marketplace provides access to tens of thousands of potential Canadian recipients by region, classification and capability, says Verkindt. A robust transactional system will be integrated in the near future to support all participating parties.
"This is a major first step in a string of innovative releases which we are planning for the next six to twelve months," says Verkindt, a veteran of the Canadian small manufacturing sector in the defence industry. Her background in running a small manufacturing business has made her familiar with the challenges Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face in a niche-focused industry with limited resources.
Martin Lavoie, Director of Policy for manufacturing competitiveness and innovation for Canada's largest trade and industry association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), says "CME is confident in industry's capability to meet the needs of foreign and domestic contractors to invest in Canada. We strongly support strategic government procurement, including the adoption of Industrial Regional Benefits, that will strengthen Canada's vibrant manufacturing sector".
"I feel very strongly that the SME level needs support," Verkindt continues. "At this stage, I urge all Canadian companies that are interested in securing manufacturing and R&D contracts to claim their company listing in the OMX marketplace, validate the information and expand their corporate profiles. This will increase their chances of being found by size, geography, industry, product classification, Canadian content value percentages, and compliance certification. The more precise the data, the higher likelihood of success for each company."
"We are encouraged by the success we've achieved to date," said Rob Segal, an OMX Investor & CEO of Canadian Virgin Gaming, "The OMX marketplace is a revolutionary view into the Canadian defence, aerospace and security landscape, including company profiles of over 50,000 Canadian suppliers. Even this early release is a dramatic change over the current process of sourcing suppliers, but we are really excited about what is still to come." John Wright, Principle in JPOM and Centre-Arch as well as Advisory Board member to OMX, stated that "The OMX tool is an important advance in leveling the playing field for SMEs, in regard to accessing Industrial Benefit opportunities. In a single platform, it both enables SMEs to fully advertise their capabilities, and allows Prime Contractors and other IRB Obligors to quickly and easily assimilate the domestic industrial capacities available to it, in fulfilling its obligations to spend in Canada. A game-changer."
Since its founding in February 2012, OMX has been working directly with large government contractors to ensure that the system meets their requirements. However, in announcing the launch of the online exchange, Verkindt stressed that OMX's primary focus is around SMEs and how they can access domestic contracts.
OMX is currently funded by its founders, private investors, and Government including:
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