A new 'quality' mark pioneered by ICT Cluster project Accredit UK - aimed at improving customer trust in IT suppliers - is paying dividends for a West Midlands firm.
Coventry-based JBC Computer Systems (JBC) is one of the first companies in the West Midlands to use the Accredit UK quality standard, which is being developed specifically to help IT suppliers demonstrate their abilities to potential clients.
JBC is now being specifically measured for the quality of its people, processes and performance in the field of network design and installation.
"We were keen to get involved early on," JBC director Val Jaspal said. "Getting certified to the standard is a great opportunity for us to show off and get an edge over our competitors."
JBC typically works with small to medium-sized businesses.
Clients include dentists, solicitors and accountants, businesses who do not have necessarily have in-house IT expertise and so often do not know where to turn or whom to trust.
The development of Accredit UK, a project instigated by the West Midlands ICT Cluster (part of Advantage West Midlands) and backed by the National Computing Centre will help purchasers to decide who to go to for their IT support.
Said Val Jaspal: "We always take responsibility for our work - we explain to clients what they can expect from their spend. It is something that is worryingly uncommon in our industry. We also make sure we explain risks up front, so there are no nasty surprises."
From the start, Accredit UK has aimed to improve trust in the world of IT. It was felt that because many purchasers did not know how to spot a good IT supplier from a poor one, they ended up with poor results - or just gave up.
Because some suppliers neglect to consider risk when quoting, the Accredit UK standard makes sure certified businesses do include it.
ICT Cluster spokesman Mike Musson said: "If Accredit UK can help IT suppliers realise the benefits of openness and trust, that will in turn help purchasers to trust IT. It will help the IT industry, and the economy as a whole, prosper."