2020 has been a challenging year for our industry and although lock-down has restricted our ability to meet face-to-face and spend time with clients and partners throughout the entire supply chain, 2020 has also delivered several opportunities for us to spend time digitally and on the phone with our clients, listening to feedback and understanding more about how we can deliver exceptional client experiences, an initiative that was spearheaded by the BBA’s Chief Executive Officer Hardy Giesler himself, since his appointment in January of this year.

Using 2020 as an opportunity to learn, and serve better

While operating throughout, and listening to feedback we’ve received, we’ve used this time to accelerate transformation of the BBA in many ways; initiatives which remain ongoing in an effort to be able to serve our clients and stakeholders better. Apart from significant changes made to our Board and Senior Management Team, we’ve also launched a turnaround programme in Q1 entitled Project Alpha where our main objectives have been:

  • To become a client-focused organisation with best-in-class communications
  • To be systems-driven, delivering consistently high quality of work and to deliver the work on-time and in full.

Improved Service Offering

Clients and stakeholders have highlighted the need to improve our service offering – one that we’ve recognised. As a result, we’ve introduced a number of changes relating to our Scoping & Delivery processes which have included a complete re-design of process, whilst retaining high quality standards and technical approval levels. We have also implemented measure that simplify the job scoping process itself, reducing the quotation phase from weeks to days. Many of these changes currently being trialed and are expected to go live early in 2021.

Improved Engagement

Client’s have told us that there are a number of ways that we can improve the way we engage throughout the process. We’ve listened, and as a result, we’ve implemented a number of changes that will improve the engagement process throughout the entire lifecycle of a client’s relationship with us. Some of these changes include the creation of a Client Engagement Team, to serve as a central point of contact and source of information for our clients going forward. To support that, we’re also trialing a set of new processes to ensure that we are able to deliver against client expectations. Our intention is that from the moment a contract is signed, until the work is delivered in full, and for the aftercare of each of our client relationships, our clients will have a dedicated, named person looking after their interests throughout the entire process, providing regular updates and also, working together with them to ensure that deadlines that have been committed to, are achieved. We’ve improved the way we schedule work and we’ve introduced work packages and milestones that enable us to continually measure performance throughout; meaning that when we commit to delivery, we can do so with confidence, enabling effective communication with our clients throughout.
Apart from enabling a dedicated contact person as a point of contact, we’re also in the process of building a dedicated portal for each client to access and view the status of all active projects, all in an effort to make our service delivery more efficient, our communications more effective and the client experience, exceptional.

Product Approval Certification improvements

Listening to feedback around Product Assessment & Certification (PAC) capacity, we have also implemented a number of fundamental changes to improve the efficiency of our teams and the delivery to our clients. In September of this year, we set up a larger team in our Liverpool office, increasing our PAC capacity by 25%. As part of this effort, we have been re-designing a number of delivery processes in an effort to enable new simplified version to increase productivity in the existing team. We’ve also reviewed team roles and freed up their time to allow them to focus on activities they do best, while moving other responsibilities to support functions. We expect these additional changes to add a further 30-35% in capacity, but the true benefits will lie in the results that our clients experience, and we look forward to reviewing these changes with them, once implemented.

Getting involved earlier to deliver quicker

We know that many of our clients have extensive New Product Development (NPD) programmes and that some have accelerated this work during the COVID-19 period. We believe in partnering with our clients for the long-run, working with them on the development of their programmes and initiatives and supporting their efforts through effective delivery of BBA services, and helping them to reduce their time-to-market wherever possible. Partnering with our clients means that visibility of future demand for BBA services help us to prepare better and allocate resources in advance; and even contributing to client NPD programme through earlier engagement.

Festive Cheer and looking forward

If anything, 2020 has taught us that we cannot afford to work in isolation, and that the drive to innovate and redevelop is paramount. But what we’ve really learnt about 2020 is that together, we continue to move forward. Digitally, we have had the pleasure of working together with several trade associations to help prepare their members for the upcoming changes that come into effect on 1 January, and we continue to remain optimistic about the opportunity to innovate that 2021 holds for us; as long as we continue to work together as a connected, joined-up supply chain.

Until then, from all of us, to all of you, we wish you a wonderful Festive Season and New Year.