As a member and regional representative at the Federation of Small Businesses, and the owner of an SME in the ADR sector, I have always been passionate about supporting fellow SMEs and helping them to achieve cost effective resolution of their disputes.
One issue that has plagued the small business community for decades, and is something discussed in episode 8 of my podcast, No Disputing That, is the late payment crisis.
With limited resources compared to larger corporations, it is often difficult for small businesses like mine to influence change. Today, I am delighted to share a ground-breaking development spearheaded by two of the larger players in the sector, IPOS Mediation (IPOS) and Resolve Disputes Online (RDO), a joint venture that I wholeheartedly support for the greater good of the SME community.
IPOS and RDO have announced their collaboration in response to LawtechUK's proposal to utilise Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for tackling the SME late payment crisis. By combining RDO's award-winning ODR technology with IPOS's extensive mediation experience, this partnership aims to provide an affordable, efficient, and accessible solution for SMEs to recover unpaid debts, offering a much-needed alternative to lengthy and costly traditional court proceedings.
Mark Jackson-Stops, founder of IPOS, said,
Having built a market leading mediation practice, over 27 years, for bespoke mediation of high value and complex cases, I have always had an ambition to develop a low-cost model for lower value disputes which often holds back the potential of many SMEs. Our JV with RDO makes this possible and we are delighted to be working with the market leader to bring an online platform to the market.
You may expect me to be envious of this development, seeing how I have worked hard to establish my own presence in this area for several years now. However, I am genuinely pleased to see this innovative approach come to fruition. I am inspired by their commitment to improving the business landscape for SMEs, which represent 99.9% of UK businesses and account for approximately 60% of jobs and private sector turnover. By addressing the £50bn late payment debt, this joint venture could potentially save SMEs over £5bn each year in debt collection costs, relieving countless business owners from anxiety and ill health.
The RDO-IPOS collaboration might not only be a game-changer for the small business community but also a testament to the power of technology and collaboration in addressing long-standing issues. As an advocate for SME growth and a fellow mediator, I am excited by the possibilities this platform offers and eagerly anticipate its positive impact on the UK economy.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly applaud IPOS and RDO for their commitment to bettering the lives of small business owners. I am excited to see the fruits of their labour in the form of a revolutionary ODR platform.