Thirteen SME members of the Kier Highways supply chain have today achieved certification to BS 11000 Collaborative Business Relationships as part of a new alliance approach to certification, pioneered by Kier and BSI (British Standards Institution).

Demonstrating a leading commitment to collaborative working, Kier developed the Alliance approach with BSI, by facilitating the process for its supply chain partners, currently working in the Area 3 contract for Kier and client Highways England, to adopt a single collaborative working system. The Alliance approach enabled members of the Kier supply chain to collectively fund and resource certification but then to become certified to BS 11000.

As the UK’s National Standards Body, BSI is responsible for developing British Standards and for representing UK Interests in international and European standard organisations such as ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation)., Traditionally, SMEs and supply chain partners have sought certification individually. However, this scheme enables members of the Alliance to share the experience of gaining BS 11000 certification, which will then help them to generate operational savings and efficiencies, become more resilient and increase the potential of winning new business. Each Alliance partner can also extend the scope of certification into other areas of their business operations.

Since September 2015 the new alliance partners have been working towards their certification together by attending regular improvement workshops, training days, taking part in supply chain forums and sharing key learnings, insights and best practice. As part of this process BSI has assessed each company individually, carrying out checks and monitoring them for compliance to ensure they complete the certification.

The BS 11000 standard for collaborative working also has the potential to become an ISO in the near future, which would take the standard to a global audience, providing the possibility for the Alliance Arrangement to also be shared around the world.

Dave Wright, executive director, Kier Highways says “I firmly believe that the Alliance approach has the potential to transform certification to this standard and the collaboration ethos for SME’s across UK industry, and expect many other companies large and small to follow in our footsteps.

“Kier holds a substantial number of BSI certifications and we greatly value the role that BSI plays in demonstrating and certifying our expertise, rigour and commitment to best practice to our clients. We were the first Highways England provider to adopt formal BS 11000 certification for collaborative business relationships, so it was logical that we would lead the way in unlocking the value of certification across the wider supply chain.

“Collaboration plays a critical role in the evolving Highways England model, and certification enables partners to demonstrate their enduring commitment and capability to clients. But collaboration is also the key to enabling real innovation and efficiency on projects of scale and complexity, as we have demonstrated as a collective supply chain with initiatives like the 1,000 tonne project and most recently the early completion of the A591 after the Cumbrian floods.

“We are incredibly proud of being the pioneer of yet another innovation, which in itself embodies great collaboration, and look forward to watching the model spread UK wide, if not globally.”

Frank Lee, EMEA Compliance & Risk Director, BSI commented: “We’re pleased to have worked alongside Kier Highways and the thirteen supply chain partners throughout the BS 11000 assessment process for the Kier Area 3 Alliance, helping them to safeguard their supply chain through the principals of collaborative working. This is a unique initiative and Kier should be pleased that they are the first to achieve certification to this scheme. Leadership has been a fundamental part of gaining certification and members of the alliance are already seeing the benefits of closer working relationships.”

Via Kier Group. View original article here.