BUSINESS

Free tool supports businesses to self assess

Wednesday 30 July 2008, 12:54AM
By Pete Hodgson
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A new free tool that helps business people assess their business’s capabilities in areas such as leadership and planning will be launched by Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson tonight.

The on-line New Zealand Business Assessment tool is open to all New Zealand-based businesses, from sole proprietors to large businesses. It uses the results of a 30 minute questionnaire to assess a business’s capabilities in six areas. These are: Leadership; Planning; Customer and Market Focus; Measurement Analysis & Knowledge Management; Process Management; and Human Resources.

The tool is an initiative of the Business Capability Partnership, a consortium of business groups, economic development agencies and government agencies.

Businesses can use the tool to establish a starting point to measure growth, and identify opportunities for how they can improve. They can also easily share the information collected with business advisors of their choice, said Pete Hodgson.

“Should the firm wish to they can use the website to invite business advisors to review their responses, provide direct feedback or even assist the firm to develop a plan for growth.”

As the number of completed assessments grows, the tool will also create opportunities in the future for firms to benchmark their performance against that of their peers.

Growing globally competitive firms is one of the key planks of the government’s economic transformation agenda, and one of the best ways of growing such firms is to help them assess their strengths and weaknesses, he said.

“Firms are the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy. Growing the skills, talents and innovative potential of firms is the key to increasing their performance and ultimately that of the economy as a whole. The first challenge for any firm that is committed to enhancing their performance is to understand what their current capabilities really are. Only once they understand this can they set about making real improvements.”

The tool, which was developed by New Zealand company Optimation, can be found at www.businessassessment.co.nz. Optimation worked closely with the Business Capability Partnership and other stakeholders to develop the tool.