Why choosing the right business partners can give companies a competitive advantage
In this guest article, Akash Bedi, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer of H&H Group, explores the benefits of choosing the right business partners.
A successful business often consists of a good culture, strong leadership, empowered team members and, more recently, agility. However, one area that isn’t referred to as often as it should is partnerships. The value of choosing the right business partners shouldn’t be underestimated.
Not only are partnerships crucial to the success of a business, but if formed correctly, these partnerships create unparalleled value and can lead to a competitive advantage. Partners help gain access to new markets and channels, novel innovations, co-creation and shared intellectual property or infrastructure, and even reduce risk. Businesses can collaborate with partners to drive business goals, transforming the business to achieve sustainability goals and improving resilience as a business as a whole.
Why do we need business partners?
From sourcing ingredients and ensuring good quality processes to innovation and sustainability, businesses rely on partners for their areas of expertise and skillset. As businesses, we need to be sure that we have the right partnerships in place so we can make the best-informed decisions not only for our business but also for our customers, consumers and the planet.
At H&H, one of our key strategic partners, as well as our biggest dairy supplier, is Isigny Sainte-Mère Cooperative. Isigny is instrumental to the success of our children’s nutrition and infant formula brand Biostime, as it enables us to offer premium, good-quality milk to our consumers in China, France and around the world.
Partners can also support businesses by furthering clinical studies of ingredients, with the findings then used to bolster product packaging claims and to create products that truly stand out from the competition. By combining industry-leading marketing with the scientific rigor of their partners, brands can be established as trusted and innovative leaders in their respective fields and markets.
This innovation doesn’t just stop at product creation: successful business partnerships can be crucial to the success of the business across the whole value chain. External industry partners and suppliers are key to the innovation and new product development process. It is important to collaborate closely, sharing consumer insights that lead to new product development concepts, to ideate around suitable ingredients, formats and packaging that will result in the best consumer product.
Building an eco-system based on trust
Recent research from Economist Impact found that 86% of those surveyed said their organisation would be more likely to work with a potential partner that demonstrated transparency, accountability and integrity in its operations. When we consider how much we rely on our partners and the value they can add to the business, it is clear why these relationships must be built on trust and transparency. By forming the right business partnerships with those who share similar values to ours and are aligned with our mission, we can strive to achieve much more together.
At H&H, we have a shared value model which reflects our belief that business success is intertwined with the needs of society and the health and happiness of our people, pets, and the planet.
Preparing for the unknown
Over the past couple of years, we have seen how important it is for a business to ensure it’s prepared for the unknown, from disruptions in supply chains due to a global pandemic to increasing pressures around sustainability objectives. By securing the right strategic partnerships today, a business can be better prepared for the future and by joining forces, can mitigate risks.
Collaboration across these partnerships means that you not only have your own people to drive the business forward in the best way possible but also the support of the partners who have the same overarching objectives as yours – meaning you can move forward together to create a better future for all involved.