Years ago, Peter Drucker, a management consultant, noted, “accelerating growth of relationships based not on ownership but on partnership as the greatest change in the way business is conducted today.” Years later, we continue to see building & strengthening relationships as a key trend in the Life Science arena. Whether you are building a relationship to prepare for acquisitions, mergers, or consolidations or building relationships with distributors, suppliers, or manufacturers, it is important to put the communication and expectations in play in order to be successful. The stakes and costs are too high to have a relationship mishap. Here are the important attributes that will help you reap the benefits of a strategic relationship:
Expectations: Setting the stage with expectations and goals is important for the success and longevity of a partnership. All parties will benefit with the goals and expectations being clearly communicated and carried out from the start.
Reliability: Some might think that this is common sense, but in the Biopharma world reliability is everything. If you order product X just in time for production, it is imperative that the expectations and reliability with time, products, and customer service are there. Because if they aren’t this can cost you time, money, and even worse shutdowns.
Flexibility & Stability: With a changing market and competitive landscape, it’s important to build a relationship with a partner that has the ability to flex with your needs and adapt to the change of the market and your business. Directions shift, scope of project changes, ideas stick, models fail, business happens you adapt. The key to alleviate these changes and risks is to have relationships that will support and flex with you.
Expertise: It’s always nice to have someone who has a chemical engineering degree with a background is some biopharma chemistry production, clinical trials and analysis. Oh yeah, of course have a MBA to talk through the business part of it. Do these people even exist?
What’s the point, if they don’t fully understand the industry and your business? Someone who understands the industry and business is much more important, than someone with a long fancy title. It is important that your partner has a solid customer service and account manager team that understands your business inside and out. This will help you stay aligned with your strategy and meet your goals.
Quality: Quality here has a double agent connotation to it. Quality is not only the degree of excellence and integrity of a product or service, but also is the quality standards and procedures.
Culture: An organization’s culture is huge deal when embarking. A company’s organization says a lot about them and their integrity to do business. Is there a high turnover of people?