Collaboration is an essential tool in the arsenal of an effective leader. Collaborative efforts within your business can help to engage team members, comprehensively vet new ideas and formulate really innovative and relevant strategies for your business. However, why do we so frequently limit collaboration to internal uses?
Some first-movers are now evidencing the power of collaboration when used more creatively and broadly. For example, imagine the efficiencies, and subsequent cost reduction, you could achieve by partnering with people up or down your supply chain. Imagine how you would be positioned in relation to your competitors as a result of reducing the costs and risks relevant to your business by partnering in this way.
The marketplace is getting crowded, and barriers to entry are much lower than they were even 15 years ago. Businesses need to think innovatively, and in my opinion work collaboratively, to survive. Through partnering with appropriately selected businesses your organisation can protect or grow its market share and creative a sustainable and unique competitive advantage.
But why stop there?
Imagine all the businesses you could partner with to enhance your value proposition. Through partnering and working collaboratively with seemingly unrelated businesses you can gain an extremely broad viewpoint, and creatively solve problems and pain points that are presently considered unsolvable. Through alliance and partnership structures you can leverage your unique selling points, coupled with your partners’ unique selling points to increase your footprint, customer base and relevance in the market.
There are, of course, risks with this approach. Issues surrounding IP ownership and protection, trade secrets and protecting independence are complex and require input from subject matter experts. However, if you are willing to put the time in to structuring these collaboration partnerships you will stand to reap vast rewards.
The possible benefits of working collaboratively are immense and vast. However here are some quick tips to avoid pitfalls:
1. Choose your partners wisely – the relationship will be built on trust, so make sure all parties are trustworthy.
2. Be clear about your value proposition and how potential partners would contribute to it – you need to be creating a whole worth more than the sum of its parts.
3. Think laterally about how to leverage collaboration – Potential partners are everywhere; you just need to identify them.
4. Take your time – This is not an exercise to be rushed. Take the time to get to know your partner before making firm commitments, and make sure you structure a deal in which everyone wins.
To learn more about making the most of your supply chain relationships, contact DLPA today! We support companies in choosing the right partnerships for their company and market!