Shopping for an Alliance Partner
Quick Tips for Picking a Partner
According to Larraine Segil, author of Intelligent Business Alliances (Times Business), you should rate your would-be alliance partners in several areas, including these three vital ones:
- E-readiness. Are the prospect's e-commerce initiatives up to speed? Learn the details of its e-commerce strategy, its expected outcomes and interim goals, and who's driving the process.
- Customer loyalty. Companies that still follow the old way of viewing customers -- without too much customization, for example -- may be too far behind the curve to catch up quickly. However, if your potential partner has a loyal customer base, then you could leverage that asset by, say, investing in information technology that analyzes customers in greater detail.
- Communication. Meshing two distinct company cultures requires nearly flawless communication -- electronic and otherwise -- of timely and accurate financial and market data. The more compatible your information sharing systems are, the better off you'll be. Don't allow your e-mail system to become a bottleneck.
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