I’d like to point your attention to a recent post of Robert Rudzki, author of Straight to the Bottom Line and the forthcoming Next Level Supply Management (which is a must read for anyone who desires to take their Supply Management organization to the Next Level) over on the SCMR Blogs on alignment and compatibility with supplier partners. In it, he reviewed his simple, yet powerful, framework for evaluating the likely success or failure of two companies working together.
The basic idea is that success is more likely to occur — and be sustainable over time — if there is alignment, and compatibility, across three key dimensions:
the overarching business strategies of the two parties should be close since they will need to be in sync for success
the two company’s systems and procedures will need to be integrated into one set of systems and procedures; if the will is not there to make this happen, the chances of success will be diminished greatly
the business cultures must be similar; the core mission and values must be similar and it holds true whether you are merging two operations in New York or an operation in New York with an operation in Singapore and puting a head office in London
While these conditions are not sufficient for success, they are necessary. So if you fail the SOC test, sock the partnership from the get-go.