Improving collaboration with smaller businesses

New international guidance for large organizations just published.

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Clare  Naden
By Clare Naden
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Large organizations can reap a multitude of benefits when collaborating with smaller businesses, as long as the policies and processes don’t weigh the relationship down. A new international standard has just been published to help bring the best out of the arrangement for all involved.

ISO 44004, Collaborative business relationship management – Guidelines for large organizations seeking collaboration with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), provides recommendations for large organizations to help them take an agile and balanced approach when working with MSMEs.

Adrian Miller, Project Leader of the group of experts that developed the guidelines, said MSMEs generally bring more flexibility and agility to a business relationship, making them highly attractive to work with. Yet they are also likely to have fewer resources.

“Larger organizations tend to have a greater level of management processes, but these could be overwhelming for an MSME if imposed on them, as it tends to drive a way of working that is too onerous and restrictive,” he said.

“ISO 44004 demonstrates how they can adjust their approach to working with smaller businesses, thus enabling both parties to benefit fully from the relationship and produce positive results.”

ISO 44004 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 286, Collaborative business relationship management, whose secretariat is held by BSI, ISO’s member for the UK. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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