THE COLLABORATIVE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS STANDARD.
This International Standard sets out guidance for establishing and managing robust and successful collaborative business relationships, thus creating beneficial partnerships that enhance competitive performance. ISO 44001 provides a management framework for working in partnership with one or more organisations to share knowledge, skills and resources effectively, and is applicable to SMEs through to public corporations. This helps all involved to meet mutual goals, better manage their costs and risks, and enables levels of innovation not normally achieved in a typical client-supplier relationship.
The Five Pillars of Collaboration™ are:
1) Devising a collaboration strategy and deriving its objectives
2) Assessing and selecting your collaborative partner(s)
3) Developing the relationship rather than (just) the deal,
4) Delivering the promise of value within the relationship
5) Overseeing the people and their behaviours.
The Pillars are built upon a foundation stone of the Relationship Management Plan and are capped by a compass rose, representing your Core Values.
Why a Collaboration Standard?
There is no doubt that the need for organisations to work together has never been more critical. Clients are looking for more innovation from their suppliers. Suppliers are looking to deliver solutions to achieve a real partnership with the clients. This is all in a drive to meet the demands of a growing global competitive landscape where both parties are trying to understand the impact of technology and deal with an ever-increasing degree of transparency.
Today’s operating environment is a complex highly networked and fast-moving platform. While collaboration from an entrepreneurial perspective is commonplace between individuals, transitioning this to collaboration between organisations is much more complicated. Unfortunately, this ideal is often exacerbated by our reluctance to move away from a traditional contracting environment.
Where business relationships are measured in years rather than in hours or days, collaboration is absolutely essential. Typically in the facilities management industry contracts may last 3-5 years and up to as long as 25 years in the case of some Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s).
Collaborative business relationships have been shown to deliver a wide range of benefits, which enhance competitiveness and performance while adding value to organisations of all sizes.
The adoption of any standard has to be balanced against the value that it can deliver to the organisations that choose to utilise it.
It is a roadmap for relationships that will aid implementation and engagement, and that will develop an increasing level of value over time.
The standard provides a commonality of language and application that aids understanding, together with communication and improved integration.
It acts as a bridge between two different cultures that reduces confusion and provides confidence to the participants that they are laying the foundations for a more robust partnership that builds on the strengths of each partner to deliver innovation.
The standard provides a platform for developing repeatable models to enhance communication and engagement that’s building confidence in the process as well as reducing cost.
Increased customer confidence for both parties comes from a smart relationship based on joint objectives that reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings, hidden agendas and sources of potential conflict, thereby improving risk management.
The creation of a platform that improves governance along with the speed of its application is achieved through a consistent and structured approach to collaborative working inside operational processes and procedures.
In short ISO 44,001 provides a standard framework that promotes increased levels of engagement and effectiveness by strengthening business processes, improving risk management and enhancing dispute resolution that provides the basis for continuing skills development and collaboration to achieve more significant levels of value.