BSI's Business Barometer: Competition and Complex Customer Requirements to Boost Partnerships

By Bsi Group, PRNE
Monday, December 6, 2010

LONDON, December 7, 2010 - More complex customer requirements and higher levels of competition are
the key factors that will increase the need for collaborative business
relationships, while cultural differences seem to represent the main
challenge for companies working in partnership with other organizations.

These are the key highlights of the BSI's Business Barometer presented
today to coincide with the official launch of the certification programme for
the British Standard on Collaborative Business Relationships (BS 11000-1), at
the House of Lords. BS 11000, developed by BSI with Partnership Sourcing Ltd
(PSL) along with Government and industry professionals, helps organizations
establish, manage and improve collaborative working within and across the
public and private sectors.

The BSI's Business Barometer, that surveyed senior decision makers from
different industries, ascertained the most formidable challenges perceived by
companies for ongoing collaboration, the benefits and the key factors that
are set to increase the need for partnerships.

Challenges. The greatest difficulties identified included cultural
differences (56%), and allocating risk and reward (44%). Respondents also
added that managing expectations on all sides and aligning multiple
multinational companies as a single flexible organization could challenge the
potential efficiency of business collaboration.

Furthermore, in response to the complexity of their current business
relationships, referring to extensive business networks, global relationships
and several internal divisions, 34% of respondents stated that their business
relationships were very complex, while a larger number, 56%, felt that their
business relationships were more straightforward.

Trends. The need for collaboration will certainly increase due to complex
customer requirements followed by higher levels of competition and increasing
globalisation of market opportunities. Additionally, participants found that
financial constraints and the need to work together to compete with low cost
economies were persuasive factors underlining the need for collaborative
business relationships.

Benefits. Respondents identified the benefits of working collaboratively
with customers and suppliers: 73% of survey participants found that reduced
overall operating costs, simplified processes and optimised resources were
the most attractive benefits of collaborative business relationships, while
they also think that increased growth or market access were valuable assets
of business collaboration.

Finally, 58% of respondents replied that they had a structured framework
underpinning their collaborative work with customers and suppliers while 29%
did not at present have collaborative infrastructure in place.

A number of businesses have already recognized that certifying the
Collaborative Business Relationships is a key differentiator in the market
place. These organizations have shown a real commitment to partnering and can
confidently demonstrate excellence. Many more businesses are now looking to
follow their lead and over 100 delegates including industry managers,
visionaries and thought leaders are expected today at the networking event at
the House of Lords for the launch of the new BS 11000 certification

"Building on PAS 11000, most popular with large organizations engaged on
large-scale contracts in specific sectors, BS 11000 is more accessible to
other sectors and will be of equal value to smaller companies," says BSI EMEA
Business Development Director Andrew Morris. "BS 11000 will also gain
traction beyond the UK in areas where a British Standard has strong
credibility. In many tender situations we are now seeing businesses pitching
together rather than individually and then going on to deliver a service
jointly. A certificate proving compliance with BS 11000 can really help to
set them apart from the competition."

About BSI Group

BSI Group is a global independent business services organization that
develops standards-based solutions to improve management practices and
promote innovation. BSI can help businesses, governments and other
organizations around the world to raise quality and performance in a
sustainable and socially responsible way. From its origins as the world's
first National Standards Body, BSI Group draws upon over 100 years'
experience to work with 66,000 organizations in 147 countries from its 50
offices. To learn more, please visit

About PSL

PSL was established in 1990 as a joint initiative between the Department
for Business Innovation and Skills (formerly DTI) and the Confederation of
British Industry (CBI). PSL is a self-financing not-for-profit organization.
Its role is to help organizations, large and small, in both the public and
private sectors, to build and develop effective competitive business
relationships based upon a collaborative approach. PSL provides practical
guidance based on a wide portfolio of experience utilizing knowledge from
extensive relationships within the commercial, Government and academic

Chiara Carella, PR Manager of BSI Group, T: +44-(0)20-8996-7248, M: +44-(0)77-6835-8730, chiara.carella at

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