Relationships with partners are essential for a business to thrive. Many companies have negative feelings when it comes to working with a partner for a project because of bad experiences or burnt bridges in the past, but without partnerships, it is hard for any business to survive no matter how big or small they are. Often when working with another company, there is a feeling that each company wants the power and higher position, but now companies are seeing that to be successful, they have to work collectively with a partner and keep everyone’s best interest in mind to maximize efficiency and profitability. Here are a few steps to keep in mind when working with a partner on a job.
- Build a plan to ensure all parties are satisfied
How well are your companies aligned? Do you have the same values and vision? Before entering a partnership with another company, you need to ensure you are going to be able to work alongside them without compromising the values of your company or lowering standards to get a better cost. You should discuss your desired outcomes of the partnership and what is of value to each company. If your values and outcomes align, the partnership is started on solid ground. A lack of understanding or care of what each party needs is a path to potentially costly conflicts.
- Deicing who does what
Depending on how the partnership is started (who is outsourcing the work, etc.), does one company delegate all of a specific task to the other company or are they only outsourcing part of the work? Does this work for both companies? To ensure the job is done to the highest standards and both companies are being used efficiently, you need to be sure your job delegation is taking all of the variables into consideration. It can become a big task if one company is trying to micromanage the entire project, which is why the next step is a priority.
- Establishing desired outcomes
Outcomes should be the main focus of each project. What do you want from this relationship, what do they want from this relationship, how do we figure out how to please everyone? Sometimes to allow for outcomes to end in the best result, it means giving up more of the workload and not micromanaging. As long as the desired outcomes are set and each company has the drive to achieve them, then the how is not as important as long as it is professional, safe, and legal. This step is crucial to the flow of the project. Having set outcomes gives each party a goal to work towards and worrying less about how each side accomplishes their goals. Outcomes come in many sizes and shapes such as profitability, quality of the job, and safety.
- Communication plans
The easiest way to make a partnership work smoothly is to have completely open and honest communication. Sometimes you think it is a better idea to hold onto bad news hoping the other party will not notice, but this can only lead to more problems as these small issues accumulate and become bigger more costly issues that affect both parties. Communication spans all aspects of a project from equipment arriving late, changes in the plans, something going wrong with the current plan, etc. Having strong communication and being honest with your partners allows them to trust you and want to continue working with you on future projects. As companies grow and change, it can be challenging to maintain the same partnerships, but as long as communication is flowing, partnerships can grow and change as needed.
Partnerships are a key part of every business. Maintaining good relationships with partners and having a good record of working with other businesses not only builds your reputation with partners but with customers as well. Maximize your companies potential by being a good partner on every contract.
Midsouth Mechanical has been doing business for over 25 years. We offer our industrial clients efficient and cost-effective fabrication, modification, and repair of industrial equipment. From preventive plant maintenance, designing, installing and aligning machines, our exceptional skill and craftsmanship set us apart from the competition. Our number one priority day to day is safety. To see our published weekly Toolbox Talks, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.