What others are saying... (continued)

Building better supplier partnerships "Imagine doing business with suppliers who thoroughly understand your organization, can be trusted to... provide outstanding price-performance. Sound too good to be true? You're looking at the next phase in the evolution of vendor-client relationships: true partnerships. The right vendor can help a client stay ahead of the competition, enable rapid product deployment and ensure the delivery of best-in-class products and services at affordable rates...

"'The business recognizes that I shouldn't and couldn't have all the skills that required in-house because that would be too expensive and not an optimum use of our money... Collectively, the parties that are involved work together as one team with the end game being the enablement of the business. By nature, these projects are very trust-oriented... There are projects currently underway in-house where it would be impossible to distinguish whether a participant was a Nesbitt Burns employee or a representative from the outside organization...

"'We want to work with partners that have depth and breadth... Because of the competitive nature of our business, we're always needing to meet extremely tight deadlines... We don't have time to be constantly evaluating, so partnering with a few preferred suppliers is an optimum way for us to employ the right resource at the right time without paying for it the entire time... One of the by-products of these relationships is that the firm has completely eliminated the use of tenders... a huge time-saving at the front end of projects...

"'Then there's the issue of cost... These partners have a sense that they are real partners, and providing that they deliver, do a good job and the costs are reasonable, they're probably going to be invited back. Why would they do anything to mess that up?

"'For us, the key to the game is leverage, leverage, leverage.' And they appear to be playing the game well."

"Building Better Vendor Partnerships", by Pat Atkinson, CIO Canada Magazine, January 2000, describing the partnering/outsourcing model of Nesbitt Burns, and quoting Mark Saunders of Nesbitt Burns.

"Thanks very much for the mockup - we all ooooood and awwwwwd over it and can't wait to see the real thing.

"Nice story in Silicon Valley North - front page no less!

"Thank you for all you are doing and have done - we enjoy working with you and brainstorming - you put the professional fun into what could be a painful process!"

Unsolicited e-mail, from the Office & HR Manager (a "stakeholder/participant" in the strategic marketing planning process) at a client for whom ASH Technology Marketing functions as the entire marketing department, on an outsourced basis. Received June 1998 after one year on the client's team.

Everyone's on the same page...

"You get the most presence for the least cost from... selecting strategically-focused partners and hitting the world marketplace in a consistent, co-ordinated, strategically driven way."

Kim Dixon, Vice President Marketing, Corel Corporation, 1997

"I'm really happy that our relationship is working out so well. We are seeing results. Your contributions are really appreciated and they are valuable. You've done more for our organization in a few months than we have been able to do in over a decade. You're good."

Unsolicited e-mail, 1997, from a client for whom we provide strategic marketing advice, marketing strategy formulation, executive mentoring, and integrated, multi-track marketing and MarCom program development and execution.

"According to the survey, 42% of the top 150 firms from 1985 have disappeared from the list... But jumping out of the study was this: Higher performing companies had three times the number of "collaborations" as lower performing businesses. And the fastest risers from the period 1985 to 1997 - Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft - have collaboration down to an art."

Martin Slofstra, Infosystems Executive Magazine, October, 1997, reporting on a 1997 study of the global electronics industry commissioned by Andersen Consulting, which unexpectedly found a link between partnering and collaborative outsourcing models, and success.

"It's now clear that we aren't moving toward an information economy, but a trust economy... In a trust economy, 'partners' must change the nature of their contractual relations with each other... contracting which aims at working together and ending the adversarial "us­them" mentality... Executives also need to understand that there are two dimensions of trust: trustworthiness as a value (sincerity, honesty) and trustability as a skill (reliability and competence).

Peter Keen, CIO Magazine, June, 1997

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