Setting up business cooperations means that you need to prepare yourself and your company for working with other companies.
It means you need, to depending on the type of business relationships your Business Plan indicates, secure sourcing terms and conditions as well as the customer terms and conditions to be used. In addition understanding the Supply & Support/Services Flow to be used as well us understand and secure the required Trade Compliance. Finally and not the least how are you going to get paid from your customer, that is understand and secure your cash flow.
To start with you need to understand and decide on what business relationship you want to have that best support your Business Objectives. There are a number of models that can be used:
- Technology Sourcing or OEM Component Sourcing, e.g. you purchase a component that you integrate with your product that are sold to the customers.
- Reselling, you add a product as a complement to your own portfolio but keeping the product name.
- Market Cooperation, e.g. you work together with another company to put together a joint proposal but you go separate to the customers.
- Technology Cooperation, you cooperate with another company to demonstrate platform, technical interoperability.
Each of these cooperation models requires its own operational model, however they need to interwork with the overall company operational model as well as with the different cooperation models as you may start working with a company using the Technology Cooperation model and then switch to Market Cooperation and end up with a Reselling set-up. You do not want to start from scratch if you want to change the business relationship. It takes time and drive costs.
A very common cooperation model where you need to understand the purchasing and support procedures to be used. You need also to understand the testing and release responsilibilities.
A very common model when you want to Protect and Increase your Top Line. In this model you need to understand the purchasing, supply and support models to be used. This model has a different testing and release set-up compared to Technology Sourcing as you need to focus on the test cases needed in addition to Product Performance as well as to be able to follow Release cycles.
The Market Cooperation model can be used when you need to strengthen your offering to your customers by together with another company a joint solution but you still go separate to the market. These cooperation often requires an investment in terms of securing interoperability so that you can prove that there is a joint solution.
Technology Cooperation between two companies or more is often used to demonstrate the baseline of an ecosystem, e.g. the foundation for interworking independent components/products can be shown. The Cooperation model requires an investment to set up and secure the interworking.