Both parties come away with expanded product or service application insights. Each considers the fit between his company and the potential partner. Each discerns how well the partner works with othersthe customer through reference checks, the supplier through networking questions and the grapevine. The relationship establishes clear lines of communication upfront. The risks and rewards of full commitment to the agreement are understood before contracts are signed.
Fully understanding the competencies each supplier brings to the table enables the customer to create and manage an outsourcing sphere that drives value through improved order fulfillment, increased throughput capacity, improved support in optimizing asset utilization, and reduced inventory and cash-to-cash cycle times. These value drivers improve financial performance, increase shareholder value and inevitably lead to business growth.
eBusiness innovation examines each of the relationships a company serves, then evaluates how that company is going to change the way it does business with respect to all of those relationships. The objective is to use e-commerce technology for accessing and adding value to existing relationships while creating new relationships. Outsourcing through partnerships becomes the standard mantra of the business at all levels.
At the end of the day, the technology of e-commerce tools and their applications are the only parts of the outsourcing trend that are truly new; and they are available to the masses. Differentiation between competitors comes from excellence in the soft skills of relationship management, historically the trademark of progressive, successful companies. Leaders expand, change and reinvent their businesses seamlessly through continual communication and negotiation with partners on each new window of opportunity. The players complementing the new technology tools through strong growth relationships will flourish and prosper.