When to Collaborate and with Whom?

I hear a lot about collaboration at conferences these days and there are books and articles to match.  The prevailing implication is that sharing information and collaboration, however defined, is categorically meritorious.  

 There is very little, if anything, however, written or said about when to collaborate and with whom. 

Before you commit your organization to sharing information with either suppliers or customers, you must answer at least two fundamental questions. 

First, how much value can be created through collaborative synergy between your organization and your trading partner? 

Second, of that value, how much do you need to capture? 

Answering these questions will likely require some rather rigorous analysis of the total costs of operating without collaboration as well as a detailed calculation of where the value or savings will come from and what you will need from your trading partner in order to realize your targeted share of that value. 

It is clear and has been demonstrated that when two organizations cooperate for a shared goal, then they achieve better results.  But, it’s important to analytically establish the parameters so that you can plan, negotiate and operate with full information.

Thanks for stopping by. 

As we move into another weekend, remember that “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” (Albert Einstein)

Have a wonderful weekend.

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About Arnold Mark Wells
Industry, software, and consulting background. I help companies do the things about which I write. If you think it might make sense to explore one of these topics for your organization, I would be delighted to hear from you. I am employed by Opalytics.

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