In the world of industrial automation and control, or Machine and Process Management, our customer operations environment is often a mixed and multi-vendor setting.
This characteristic of customer plants, factories and operations suggests a general willingness by many customers to blend the creativity, to combine the products and technologies, and to extract the expertise of multiple suppliers. They search to find better operations and better outcomes for their companies.
Let’s view it from the other side. If we as an automation and control supplier will consciously orchestrate and evolve a strategic partner ecosystem. If we identify complementary companies, products and technologies for our customers. We can imagine to keep the valuable benefits of collaboration with these best in class companies. We can also imagine to help remove project and solution risk and help reduce uncertainty for the final customer. How? Through the proven integration and interoperability of elements in a multi-vendor solution.
In case after case with our customers across the world, the evidence from customer projects illustrates the point. Our willingness to partner, our willingness to involve and to engage the strategic partner members of our partner ecosystem leads to higher rates of success for everyone.
Consider the point of view of our large company with operations and customers across the entire world. A propensity to partner adds healthy dimensions to our success with customers. It even affects the face we are able to present to our customers.
Best of breed strategic partner companies consistently bring a welcome degree of
- High reactivity and responsiveness that is well received by customers.
- Creativity and innovation that add measurably to the value in the eyes of customers
- Demonstrated compatibility that has been validated and verified, helping reduce concerns about project risk and/or interoperability.
- Willingness to tailor or adapt a product, system or technology to meet unique customer needs
- Perspective that helps to reveal and to uncover alternatives and new solutions for the stiff challenges faced by our customers.
Recent customer cases help illustrate these benefits for the final user.
1. Last year the village of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, USA applied the alarm notification software from strategic partner WIN-911 in a creative and somewhat unorthodox application.
In the snowy reaches of Wisconsin, Pleasant Prairie now depends on an integrated, interoperable “multi-vendor solution” for the automated deployment of snow plows. This system gives Pleasant Prairie a more effective and efficient way to communicate and coordinate the movement of Pleasant Prairie snow plow drivers.
2. In Gävle, Sweden, the Mackmyra Svensk whisky distillery needed to create a more energy efficient whisky distillery process. However, they insisted to preserve the manual elements of art in the distilling process. With their mastery of the AS-Interface industrial networking protocol, our strategic partner Bihl + Wiedemann helped achieve the connectivity needed between process instruments and our control system.
Discover the Mackmyra story with this behind-the-scenes look at their ingenious distillery concept with its novel automation concepts. Or click here to learn more details on Mackmyra: distilling with gravity.
3. In Suzhou, China, Suzhou Chuanri Machinery Company began the design of their rotary die-mould cutting machine. They turned to to us and one of our strategic partners, Shanghai Hitech Engineering Company, Ltd. We provided the HMI, machine control and motion control, Shanghai Hitech offered its tension control technology. This combination improved machine performance for the die cutting of difficult material including double sided adhesive tape.
In these customer cases, it’s easy to see the compatibility of our automation & control system offers with the products and technologies from strategic partners.
Many other customer cases tell a similar story, with strategic partnerships delivering an ecosystem rich with innovation. Innovation that contributes tangible value for customers.
Quantifying the Power and Value of Partnerships
We find meaningful evidence from studies conducted by the professional association ASAP, the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. With the theme Advancing the Art and Science of Partnerships and Alliances, this organization has sponsored a series of State of Alliance studies over the past 10 years.
In the most recent study sponsored by ASAP, the 6th State of Alliance Study published September, 2016, we find the following analysis of alliance performance variables.
Responses from nearly 150 companies ranging in size from small to very large enterprises yielded the following summary about key alliance performance variables.
For the variables sales growth and profit growth, the following chart shows the average level of growth of these measures across all respondents
The results from this formal study of alliances and partnerships provide an analytical view. Together with the evidence presented above about individual customer cases, I hope you will agree that we can find true Power in Partnership.