Informing SME Engagement at BSI

One of our proudest achievements at Marketwise Strategies is the work we have accomplished with BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body. In 2014, BSI asked us to research the requirement for standards among SMEs in six sectors: Aerospace; Automotive; Construction; Food; Health; and ICT.

This major, multi-mode project was delivered in three stages and was our second research project for BSI. It involved: a review of SME numbers, activities and trends in each of the six sectors; depth interviews with decision-makers in 48 SMEs (face-to-face and by telephone); and a quantitative survey of over 600 SMEs.

Dr John Gibson photographDr John Gibson, who led the qualitative work said, “The SME landscape project was one of the most rewarding that I have been involved in. We were able to visit and interview SME owners and senior teams, and really ‘get under the skin’ of the businesses, to understand what standards meant to them, what would encourage them to adopt standards and why they might or might not want to be involved in developing new standards.

Since the project ended, we have also liaised with the consultants that BSI appointed to explore the economic benefits of standards, and have been able to see how our research has influenced that next phase of SME engagement.”

The research has informed BSI’s strategy for engaging with SMEs, and has been circulated to stakeholders throughout the UK and Europe – including to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, a number of UK universities that are leaders in working with advanced manufacturing, and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

Direct links to our Stage 1 (macro level) and Stage 2 (micro level) reports are provided below:

Those reports are also listed within BSI’s website among a series of international publications addressing the economic benefits of standards.

A case study, summarising the project, is available here.