What is a "Partner"?

What is a "Partner"?

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 28, 2019

The term “partner” is one of the most over-used, not to mention misunderstood, nouns used in business today.

Being trustworthy, knowledgeable, resourceful, and bottom-line focused are all important traits one looks for in a partner. Let me highlight what a supply partner can mean to you.

Trustworthy – a partner says what they mean and means what they say. When someone you trust tells you something, they understand the topic at hand, have done their homework, evaluated options on your behalf, and are responding in a manner that is in your best interest. You can, so to speak, take their comments “to the bank”.

Knowledgeable – a partner understands your industry, your company’s objectives, goals, and timelines. Their experience allows you to rely on their knowledge and provides a service that gives you additional resources in the form of an unpaid staff member.

Resourceful – a partner has internal resources or access to external resources to overcome obstacles. These resources could be in many forms: from capital to make investments on your behalf (i.e., molds, equipment, inventory) to industry and market experience to help guide you through a product launch or to assist you with project management.

Focus on Bottom Line Growth – the ultimate test of a supply partner is: “do they contribute to my overall profitability”? A partner has to have a long term focus and a win/win attitude to truly be this type of sustaining resource to your organization.

Supplier relationships have many of the same characteristics as personal relationships. There will be high points along with tough times. However, once a true partnership is established, it’s a valuable dynamic that allows a manufacturer/marketer to focus on their core strengths – making and selling their products.