Partnering standards set for supplier relationships

25 May 2005
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26 May 2005 | Liam O'Brien

Purchasers should be able to boost procurement efficiency, reduce delivery times and improve specification of goods and services, following the introduction next year of the world's first standard for partnering.

The standard was this month launched jointly by the British Standards Institution and Partnership Sourcing Limited (PSL), a non-profit making body that promotes collaborative working.

The benchmark will measure collaborative working and the standards body hopes it will become the ISO9000 of management systems.

Les Pyle, chief executive of PSL, said: "If companies can't demonstrate ISO9000 they now find they are definitely at a disadvantage. We hope the same thing will happen with this standard.

"More and more people are talking about the importance of partnering but are not putting it into practice. This will make sure that they walk the walk, as well as talk the talk."

Arnold Pindar, head of consumer affairs at BSI, said the standard will prove vital to companies wanting to make outsourced relationships work more effectively.

"How you manage relationships where you need to be more careful, such as outsourced and arm's-length relationships, is important to the success of a business venture.

"It will assist businesses to manage these relationships in the most effective way."

However, some partnering experts fear the standard may be adopted by organisations but fail to become embedded in their practices.

Jim Marler, head of partnering at construction company Willmott Dixon, said: "In principle it is an excellent idea and would better equip people to face business relationship challenges.

"But for it to be a success, it must be embedded in a business rather than be just a certificate on the wall."

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