Partnering and Strategic Alliances

Partnering and strategic alliances can be crucial in gaining a competitive advantage in the global

marketplace. A successful partnership helps an organization and its partners form a cohesive balance, which can lead to continual quality improvement processes.

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To develop a successful partnership with an organization, it is important to review the mission statements of the two organizations and to create common objectives that are appropriate for both organizations. After creating the objectives, it is necessary to evaluate them and prioritize those most important for the partnership.

Types of Partnering

There are different types of partnering and strategic alliances.

Internal

An internal partnership (or strategic alliance) refers to management-to-employee relationships, team-to-team relationships, and even employee-to-employee relationships within a company or an organization. Internal relationships are important in maintaining and improving the quality of the organizational culture and the operational processes.

External

An external partnership (or strategic alliance) refers to forming relationships with suppliers,

customers, and competitors outside of a company or an organization. These may be short-term or

long-term relationships, depending on the needs of the organization. Partnering with suppliers is

important in ensuring the quality of the product or service meets customers’ expectations. Partnering

with customers is important in understanding their needs and wants and how a change in a product or service might affect them. Surveys and interviews are common methods of partnering with customers.

They also help in gathering customer feedback.

Partnering with competitors is much less common than partnering with suppliers or customers.

However, if an agreement can be reached with a competitor to engage in this type of relationship, it can be important in comparing and evaluating processes, products, and services.  Each competitor may learn things that will allow them to improve their own product or service.  If one organization learns nothing from the relationship, then that organization may be reluctant to engage in the relationship in the future.

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