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New Survey Throws Light on NZ Business Practices

Business Practices Survey:

New Survey Throws Light on New Zealand Business Practices

Statistics New Zealand today released the results of the Business Practices Survey (BPS) conducted in June 2001. The BPS is the first economy-wide survey measuring the adoption of various business practices by New Zealand firms. The survey collected information on businesses' use of information technology, innovation, and management practices.

Information technology The survey results show that 36 percent of New Zealand businesses operate a website. Thirty percent of businesses have product or service information on their website, while 10 percent of businesses have a website with a facility to receive online orders. Businesses estimated that they sold $523 million of goods and services over the Internet in the year ended June 2001. This represents 0.3 percent of total operating income. Businesses surveyed identified the risk of viruses or hackers' accessing confidential information as the major single obstacle to making more commercial use of the Internet.

Seventy-nine percent of New Zealand businesses regularly use email. Sixty-nine percent of businesses use email for communicating with customers and suppliers, and 50 percent of businesses use email to transmit and receive data files.

Eighty percent of New Zealand businesses reported the use of information technology for accounting systems, while over half use information technology for other forms of data processing (60 percent) and for information management (53 percent).

Innovation The survey results indicate that 62 percent of New Zealand businesses have offered new or significantly improved products to their customers in the last three years. Fifty percent of businesses have invested in machinery and equipment relating to the introduction of new products, and 28 percent of businesses invested in in-house research and development to facilitate their innovation activity.

Fourteen percent of New Zealand businesses spend more than 10 percent of their total expenditure on innovative activities.

Management practices Management practices are processes and procedures implemented by firms to improve business performance.

The survey results show that 68 percent of New Zealand businesses have a formal planning process. Of these firms, 17 percent set goals for a period longer than two years.

Seventy-five percent of New Zealand businesses have set procedures for dealing with customer complaints, while 69 percent of businesses have systems for measuring the quality of the products provided by their suppliers. Sixty percent of businesses closely monitor their competitors' products.

Eighty percent of New Zealand businesses reported having a formal system to manage the storage and retrieval of information.

The BPS was jointly funded by the Ministry of Economic Development; the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology; and Statistics New Zealand. Statistics New Zealand will be working closely with the other sponsors to produce more detailed reports from the survey. Each respondent to the BPS will receive a report summarising the results of the survey.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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