Partnering & Alliance Management
Partnering or building Alliances means building common goals (left) that are mutually equitable. Equity is paramount, but does not mean that each party benefits nor participates in the same way or to the same extent. Therefore, when building alliances, benchmarks (left) must be set & measured to ensure each partners satisfaction.
Alliances are far from simple, & require a tremendous amount of mediation between the adjoining parties. Companies often lack the knowledge & skills to determine strategic fit, negotiate win-win agreements, align organizational cultures, and even interface the technologies.
NOTE: This methodology is integrally important & core requisite in any of our Business Development, or even Merger/Acquisition activities.
Determine your "Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats" (SWOT)
This is a specific analysis exercise that brings out a companies disciplines, where they excel & where they need help. This will help determine what type (or demographic) companies are best suited to become a partner/ally. Leveraging off your marketing plan, strategic alliance plans provide a roadmap of how your company can work with strategic, R&D & channel partners.
One of the most important results of the SWOT is Alliance Readiness: or determining whether your company is ready to work with partners & understanding what changes you must make in your existing programs.
Identify the right partners to work with to meet your business objectives & review current partner portfolio to determine if you are getting the results your expect from your relationships (see benchmarks, left). The selection criteria for Partners are actually similar to the Mergers & Acquisitions criteria: its the investment that changes.
Choose the opportune moment & circumstance to approach the target partner & propose said alliance.
As the lines of cooperation are being drawn up, each partnering company will have to adapt their focus & workforce to participate in the alliance. Transition Management is often necessary to help "bridge the communication and comprehension gap" between the decision-makers & the technical side of the house.
As your alliance(s) progress, make sure that contracts are mutually beneficial & are delivering revenue, programs and services via program metrics and dashboards.
Interim Alliance Management
As your partner program grows or you have temporary staff shortages we can step in to provide experienced alliance management to keep your program and partner relationship on track, as well as manage SLA's.
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Common Goals to achieve:
- Our gains from the alliance are mutual.
- The value of the alliance is apparent to our customer.
- This alliance offers a competitive advantage (Best in Class).
- The driving forces of the companies are complementary.
- The operations, risks and rewards are balanced.
- As alliance partners we always explore new opportunities together.
- The objectives are clearly defined.
- There is an excellent clarity of purpose.
- The roles of each partner are clearly understood.
- The alliance has a shared vision.
- We develop shared goals that are measurable.
- Both companies have the same mind share.
- Top executives from both companies have met and support the goals of the alliance.
- We have excellent channels of communications at all levels.
- Key issues are raised early and acted on promptly.
- We have a high degree of trust.
- There is continuity in the players.
- There is commitment and support at all levels.
Alliance factors to Benchmark:
- Partner Selection
- Alliance Experience
- Senior Management Commitment
- Clear Payback Time Line
- Clearly Understood Roles
- Day to Day Attention
- Clearly Defined Objectives
- Learning From The Alliance Partner
- Close Senior Management Ties
- Relationship Building
- Financial Committment
- Thorough Planning
- Information System Integration
- Establishing Realistic Expectations
- Alignment of National/Ethnic Cultures
- Alignment of Corporate Cultures
- Shared Benefit
- Sharing Risks and Resources
- Communication Between Partners
- Frequent Performance Feedback