One of the benefits of working in close partnership with your vendor partners is working with them to develop new products for the industry—whether it’s a new thermal management material with one of your laminate vendors or helping them develop a new piece of equipment that will benefit your entire industry. This is when a great partnership can serve to benefit everyone involved, even those not directly involved those in your industry who will benefit greatly by the new and innovative product you worked on. Talk about partnering productively!
When you have developed a vendor/partner relationship that is so powerful and strong that you can start working together to produce new products that neither of you could have done by yourself, that is a sign you have finally arrived; you are riding that great partnership express.
Here are some examples of how you can work with you vendor partners on developing new products:
- Work with one of your equipment suppliers to develop a new piece of equipment. Actually, by acting as a beta site you are contributing to how effective that new equipment will be. You can have a seat at the table of your vendor’s product development table. You not only get to see first-hand what the next thing is, but you help develop it in a way that works better for your company and everyone else’s. Now that is the true sense of a powerful and productive partnership.
- When your engineers have developed an end product that needs very specific PCBs with very specific thermal management parameters, it’s a great feeling to go to your trusted PCB fabricator and work with him on how to develop the right PCB design with that will produce the right thermal management coefficients. You can work side by side with your partner, solving your problem. Even better, that PCB fabricator can invite his own trusted laminate supplier to the project so that all three of you are working in coordination and cooperation solving your CTE problem. Now that is the true sense of a powerful and productive partnership or in this case, partnerships.
- Here is an example of the benefits of a true vender partnership right out of today’s news. Because of product shortages and shipment issues, you cannot get the right laminate, component, or other critical supplies that you need to build your product. Let’s use components as an example since that seems to be the product that is experiencing the most shortages right now. As true partners, you can work with your customer and your component vendors to find and qualify the right alternate component with the same parameters as the one called out in the specs to complete the project. Think about that: If your customer, and your customer’s customer, can work together to find an alternative component solution that will solve a problem, that will make all three of your companies better and demonstrate the true sense of a powerful, productive partnership—or in this case, partnerships.
- Probably the best results from vendor partners solving problems together are when we focus on one big thing. The space program was a true example of just about every high-tech company at that time working together toward one common goal of getting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Later, more than 32,000 companies worked on the original Space Shuttle. Imagine those 32,000 companies working together as a stunning example of true cooperative partnerships to launch that first shuttle into space. Now, that is a really great example of a powerful and productive partnership, or in this case, partnerships. The sense of accomplishment from that partnership has resonated for decades.
Finally, there is another type of partnership that needs to be worked on in these critical times: developing workable and cooperative partnerships with your competitors, the other companies in your industry who produce the same types of products that you are working on. This is especially critical during these times of shortages of everything from laminates to components to equipment maintenance and repair. If you have developed a strong relationship with some of your competitors, especially the ones in your area, you might just be able to help solve one another’s problems. Stand by because the competitor partnership is the type of partnership we’ll be focusing on next time we meet.