When teamwork is more than a marketing catchphrase

JLL’s certification for collaborative contracting with Defence is raising the bar for contractor performance.

JLL’s certification for collaborative contracting with Defence is raising the bar for contractor performance.

Terms like ‘collaboration’ and ‘partnership’ are often used by companies to reflect the idea they walk in lockstep with clients to get a job done or maintain fruitful relationships. However, legitimising those claims takes a whole other level of commitment.

Eager to remain accountable, the real estate services and technology company, JLL has put forward its work with Defence on the Estate Works Program as a test case for the coveted ISO 44001:2017 accreditation – the International Standard for Collaborative Business Relationship Management Systems. The standard sets out a roadmap for relationships between suppliers, customers, partners, and other parties with the goal of delivering higher performance and better outcomes.

“In Australia, the concept of collaborative business relationships is still relatively new,” according to Adam Jackson, health, safety and environment lead in JLL’s project and development services team. “Our clients are shifting their language from ‘service providers’ to ‘service partners’ and adjusting their contracting terms to seek delivery agents aligned with their organisational objectives, values and behaviours. Contracting has, and is, evolving, with clients seeking more symbiotic relationships,” Jackson says.

The size and complexity of Defence’s Estate Works Program made it the right platform for JLL to prove its aptitude for teamwork. JLL manages and delivers more than 350 infrastructure projects annually under the program, and Defence needs its base services contractors to work together to ensure seamless coordination and delivery of works to the largest estate in Australia.

JLL delivers facilities maintenance, building operations and capital projects across corporate and government sectors, and has a particularly longstanding relationship with Defence. The maturity of this relationship also made the Estate Works Program an obvious choice for the ISO 44001 accreditation.

Enhancing business-to-business relationships

The goal of achieving accreditation was to do more than simply think and act collaboratively, says Geoff Camp, JLL’s Defence lead. "It was to hold JLL and its partners accountable to a framework that creates greater operational outcomes in a manner that Defence and our other clients can predict, measure and optimise over time.”

"ISO 44001 will be a game changer in mitigating the potential for mediocre business-to-business led customer outcomes,” Camp adds.

The process for achieving certification involved JLL completing a stage 1 audit with the external certification partner, BSI, in November 2023. JLL analysed existing systems and processes on the Estate Works Program and implemented procedures, competencies and behaviours that align to the international standard. This work then set the foundation for what is known as joint relationship management plans – documents that outline the terms and commitments of a collaborative relationship, including joint objectives, governance, and issue management processes. The plans help both organisations understand what each party wants to accomplish and how to operate together to achieve ideal outcomes.

“Without robust and enduring business partnerships, outcomes can falter,” says Nathan Taylor, managing director of JLL's Work Dynamics business. “Collaboration is worth investing in.”

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