Saturday, 7 November 2009

A November rant - must be the weather

Anyone else noticed that the governments logo for 'solutions for business' is 'red tape'! We came across this initiative, aimed at simplifying support, while working on a funding project with the brief that we had to work within the branding framework set out in the governments solutions for business programme. Having visited the site and clicked various links we soon discovered this is anything but simple :

We have to agree though that  'red tape' as a logo is in fact very appropriate!

Next project, communicating the need for SME's to take a more active role in reducing environmental impact at work in line with Governmental policies. We're an SME but have never really considered the definition of an SME. Our research showed that roughly 99.5% of SME's in London have between 1 and 49 staff and 0.5% have 50 to 250. In Europe, SME companies are defined as: less than 10 staff are 'micro'; less than 50 staff are small and with less than 250 staff are medium. So it's no surprise that given these statistics that nearly all the documentation and 'red tape' we receive as an SME is more appropriate for the 0.5% rather than the 99.5% group. Certainly in our appraisal of the communications requirement for our project, there was a need for a tiered approach with sector specific messages to these different types of business within the SME bracket. I would suggest that some of the guidance and rules given to SMEs from government should also be tailored to 'micro', small and medium, but this could obviously make things more complex and undermine 'simplifying business support'.

When will Government, the public sector and procurement departments really make an effort to simplify things so people can actually get on with jobs and work that benefit people and planet rather than having to plough through endless red tape to tick boxes to satisfy the people that write the gobbledigook!

There is hope. We have recently started working with a couple of public sector procurement departments that actually have some understanding of what we do and don't ask us in contracts for a website to "clear our waste on completion of on site works"!

The joy of public sector work... it would be if only we could get through the PQQs and ITTs. Give me fast paced, relationship building, knowledge sharing, mutual respect and reward, private sector work any day... until public sector cut the red tape, believe in trust and build relationships with their suppliers.

End of rant and will have Christmas cheer hat on for next blog...

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