What is Alliance?
(“Building, Leading and Managing Strategis Alliance”, Kuglin and Hook)
An alliance is business agreement and relationship with two or more firms interfacing with
executives of top global or European companies
As a role of global alliance partner, they should act as
• Working with client and extend the joint service offerings that developed with our alliance
• Working with many members of our alliance partner organization and other members of the
firm to both educate and promote the value of the alliance.
To be sucessful on business alliance, people should be considered on the alliance behaivor at all the
times in order to build trust and relationship with their partners
Definition of “Alliance”
The definition of the word “alliance” differs from company to company and industry to industry.
Each of the firm entering in to an alliance does not necessarily agree on what is meant by “alliance”
because there are various different types of alliances.
However, according to Webster, it defines the word “alliance” as
an allying or close association, as of nations for a common objectives, families by
an agreement for this
the countries, groups in such association
Another way to define “alliance” is that the Synonyms from Webster’s Thesaurus: “The state of
being allied, connection, membership, affinity, participation, cooperation, support, union, agreement,
common understanding, marriage, collaboration, partnership and the act of joining, etc.”
Before you will enter into an alliance agreement, it is very important to understand the common
objective of an alliance. The first step of this process is that you need to be categorized in the types of
alliances in order to connect the concept of an alliance with the successful creation and implementation
of an alliance.
2 Types of Alliance:
1). Transactional alliances and their characteristics;
They generally last less than 5 years
The partners do not share critical capabilities
The relationship does not involve control and is usually contract driven
The partners do not share a common strategy or act in unison; they remain at arm’s length
2). Strategic alliances and their characteristics;
A commitment of at least 10 years
A linkage based on equity or on shared capabilities
A reciprocal relationship with a shared strategy in common
An increase in the companies’ value in the marketplace, placing pressure on competitors
A willingness to share and leverage core capabilities
Strategic Alliance Objectives
1. Risk sharing
The company could not afford the high risk of investment.
Example: Kodak and its 4 competitors develop the new Advanced Photo System technology.
2. Economies of scale
Industry with high fixed cost faces strong pressure on cost reduction through economies of
Example: British Airway and American Airline cut cost
3. Market segment access
• Lack of understanding in customer preferences and poor distribution system.
• Example: Wal-Mart and Cifra promote products in Mexican market.
4. Technology access
• Companies are collaborated to emerge a new technology. Companies have limitation
in terms of time and resources to develop a new technology.
• Example: IBM, Motorola, and Apple Computer
an alternative to Microsoft Window.
5. Geographic access
The company finds it difficult to penetrate in a foreign market where there appeals to be an
opportunity to sell the product.
Example: Anheuser-Busch (U.S.) and Kirin (Japan) strengthen the position in other’s home
6. Handling of funding constraints
The company is facing a very large cost of developing new products.
Example: Pentagon contract for fighter aircrafts high return too costly for one company to
do alone form alliance even with rivals.
7. Skills leverage
Because other companies able to provide you with the skill, expertise, and capabilities at a
lower cost than that if company develop it internally.
Example: IBM and NTT (Japanese telecommunication) develop a personal handy phone
8. Value-added barriers
Want to increase the level of competition in the industry by improving skills. This will lead to
greater barriers for new entrants to enter the industry.
Example: The Washington Post Company and Russian publisher Russian version of
Types of Alliances
When engaging in an alliance, it requires a significant and careful planning and negotiating.
Choosing who to perform alliance with, or what types of alliance should be use, can be complicated.
When done wrong, alliances can turn out to be a disaster; carrying out a negative market place
perception for both companies and can impact a company’s business beyond the specific market tied to
o WHEN TO USE?
Two companies agree to enter the market together to sell complementary
products and services.
o MAIN PURPOSE?
To create sales; especially for companies that have joint selling activities with
o Example: i2 Technologies : Ernst & Young (CGE&Y)
i2 Technologies (i2) that sells eBusiness and APS (Advanced Planning and
Scheduling) technology enter market together with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young
(CGE&Y), a professional service provider, in order to provide program
management and system integration services.
o Exclusivity is NOT a requirement in performing Sales Alliance. For example; i2 has many
sales alliances with other professional services providers other than CGE&Y. At the
same time, CGE&Y also has several sales alliances with other technology providers
excluding i2. Due to multiple alliances, partnership agreement around specific clients or
specific industries is needed in order to build trust between each other.
o WHEN TO USE?
Two companies agree to jointly develop and sell a specific marketplace solution.
o MAIN PURPOSE?
Joint selling of a jointly developed solution
Usually there are incentives to maximize the return to both parties for their
parts of joint development effort.
o Example: Whirlpool, Hearst, and Boston Consulting Group
Whirlpool, Hearst, and Boston Consulting Group combined together to create alliance to
develop and sell an Internet eMarketplace, which will provide accessible information source
for appliance buyers. This eMarketplace, called Brandwise.com, was intended to provide up-
to-date information on products. Whichever brand that wanted to be advertised would pay
a percentage of the sale (e.g., 5 percent).
o Exclusivity: may or may not be required. Often, one alliance partner will own the
solution developed, whereas the other alliance partner will have a preferred partner as a
result of the joint solution development work.
o WHEN TO USE?
Two companies agree to jointly market or co-brand products and services in a
specific geographic region.
has been practiced for many years in the beer industry
o MAIN PURPOSE?
Being able to enter to an important geographic market without having to bear
high-cost from exportation.
o Example: Fosters Brewing Company (Australia) : Molson (Canada)
Fosters Brewing Company is a famous beer brewing company of Australia. The
company decided to expand its brand to North American, but instead of
exporting and incur high-cost of shipping, Foster’s then entered into an alliance
with Molson Canada. Foster’s licenses its beer brands with Molson through
licensing agreement. Molson brews the Foster’s beer, according to Foster’s
formula and distribute through normal distribution channels. By engaging an
alliance with Molson, Foster can save cost from paying export supply chain and
avoid spending capital on building a brewery in North America, at the same
time, being able to gain access to important geographic market. In return,
Molson achieves additional product volume in both its brewery and its
distribution network, driving efficiencies in both its brewery and distribution.
o NOTE: Geographic alliances (such as, Foster and Molson) can sometimes be investment
alliances as well, this is occurred in the case that it involves investment in plant and
equipment if the particular product that is co-manufactured needs to be manufactured
in different process (such as Foster and Molson).
o WHEN TO USE?
One company makes an investment in another company and at the same time
developing an agreement to jointly market their products
o Example: viaLink, CGE&Y, i2, HP
viaLink (company providing data synchronization and scan-based trading
solutions to the consumer products, retail, and other industries) is working
together with CGE&Y and i2 to sell the viaLink solution in marketplace. Also, HP
alliances with viaLink by providing hardware infrastructure for the viaLink
Joint Venture Alliance
o WHEN TO USE?
Two companies come together and form third company to exclusively market
and/or develop specific products and services.
o There is a financial and legal commitment between two companies.
o Failure of joint venture alliance can be PAINFUL.
Responsibility of a separate company, including financial
implications that are tied to the performance of both
o Example: Northern Telecom (now known as Nortel) : Motorola
Nortel formed joint venture with Motorola in order to sell wireless infrastructure
equipment worldwide. However, the joint venture failed later on because each
partner refused to help each other in different regions of the world. Even though
both companies are successful companies working on their own, the joint
venture could possibly fail due to
1) This joint venture underestimated the challenge of merging organization in
culturally diverse regions of the world
2) Their joint does not draw enough incentives for joint venture partners to
behave in a win-win manner.
Types of Strategic Alliances
Strategic Alliances for Marketing
1) Cross Promotional Alliance:
- Cross promotion Alliances is one of the more common reasons for an alliance.
- Concept: companies promoting each other with the use of discounts, coupons, specials, shared
advertising space or in-store promotions.
Ex: Business Class flights offering a free AOL disk with peanuts
2) Strategic Alliances for Co-Branding:
- Co-branding strategy involves two companies putting their name on a common product.
- At the very least, co-branding offers twice the marketing impact as a traditional single brand
Ex: Mattel and McDonalds offering a toy that makes McDonalds hamburgers and fries.
3) Strategic Alliances to Serve National Customers:
- Serving National customers is often too costly or too difficult for a firm to handle by themselves.
- To create an alliance to serve national customers, companies share information, sales accounts
and materials with the other members. This also allows for a more consistent customer
satisfaction that otherwise wouldn’t be available.
- Trust is a very important factor in alliances, especially in national/global alliances.
Ex: Awnet: Canvas Awnings drawing together with several other fabricators to meet the needs of
clients all over the U.S. by dividing the country into 5 sectors and helping one another to facilitate
local, as well as national sales.
4) Industry-Specific Geographical Alliances:
- Focuses on a specific industry in a certain geographical area.
- These businesses are general within very close proximity to one another and can satisfy all the
needs of their customers in one phone call or visit.
Ex: The Minnesota Connection: Services the Direct Marketing Industry, alliance involving
Telemarketing, Plastic, Printing, Envelope, Lettershop, and Listing Services.
5) Community-Based Alliances:
- Involves working together with other companies to create some community benefit that
essentially differentiates your organization from your competitors in the eyes of your
- Community-Based Alliances are typically a form of advertising, although they allow different
companies to come together for the benefit of the community, and the resulting networking
and friendships are a priceless benefit for the companies involved.
Ex: Investors Advantage Corporation holding an Economic Forum in Westlake Village, California. By
providing high-profile speakers and representatives from many companies, the forum benefits the
citizens and customers and also provides the companies involved with exceptional advertising and
name recognition as well as the ability to attract new customers in attendance.
6) Alliances with your Competition:
- Competition is NOT bad. Competition breeds success.
- This concept is exactly as it sounds, you work with your competitors in search of mutual
- This approach is beneficial in economic/industry downturns or when costs of machinery or
resources are extremely high.
- It is possible to reduce costs by sharing space, advertising or commercial space with
Ex: American, Delta and United Airlines sharing a store-front ticket office to reduce rental fees and
attract more customers.
7) Alliances with Competitors to Open New Markets:
- Often time’s foreign or new markets have some characteristic that makes them unserviceable
for an organization. Examples are markets that are too large, too far away, too different,
undeveloped, and so on.
- Forming alliances with competitors is a viable solution is many cases when these issues are at
- By working together with the competition, organizations are able to increase output, lower
costs of distribution and provide advertising and marketing that make the penetration of the
market much easier that it would be if they were to go at it alone.
Ex: La Tapatia Tortilleria and El Aguillea Tortillas formed a strategic alliance to open the new market
of California to fresh tortillas. Neither of the companies had the production ability to service the
market alone, but together they were able to capture a huge market and become very successful.
8) Strategic Alliances for Buying Parity
- Such as buying cooperatives or buying groups
- Buying as a group can make similarity of prices
A list of Buying Group Benefits from office Dealer Magazine:
Lower product costs
Lower operating costs
Education and training
Ex. In American Dental Cooperative (ADC), the ADC members came together in an alliance for
buying parity to as they called “level the playing field”. As buying in group, they can get prices
similar to that of the two giants in their industries.
9) Alliances with Competitors to Build an Industry
- The form of cooperative alliance to raise the awareness and increase sales of particular business
in the area
Ex. In Southern Ontario, Canada, a group of craft breweries formed a cooperative alliance to raise
the awareness of craft brewing in the area. All competitors get together to create the Ale Trail, the
idea to bring visitors to the area.
10) Strategic Alliances to Beat Competition
- The alliance that the two companies combine their strength to make
Ex. Coca-Cola developed an alliance with Nestle to make cannd and bottled coffees and teas for a
worldwide market in order to compete with Pepsi.
11) Alliances to Block New Competitors
- The two main competitors make an agreement alliance to stop another main competitor
from its new strategy or entering into the industry.
Ex. GTE and Pacific Bell, the two California telephone companies, entered into an alliance
agreement, and they successfully blocked Metropolitan Fiber Systems (MFS) from developing a fiber
optics dual communication system for the University because it will undercut price to local phone
12) Strategic Alliances for Product Development
- When some products or ideas have to be developed using more advance technology and hard
to do by own.
Ex. Chrysler and Westinghouse collaborated to develop an advanced electric motor and power
controller that would boost acceleration and operating rage between charges in Chrysler electric
13) Strategic Alliances for Research
- Often times, the contemporary understanding of concepts is either outdated or flawed, and in
worse cases, completely mistaken. Often times the research and development for newer or
more appropriate concepts is costly and difficult. Forming alliances with companies or
governments with common goals can be a very good alternative to an otherwise difficult
Ex. GM and the federal government of the U.S.A are combining forces to complete extensive research
on electric car technology. With GM’s current financial situation they would be unable to perform such
research and the U.S. government having the money and resources to help GM seems to be taken a step
in the right direction.
14) Strategic Alliances for Manufacturing and Construction
- Partnering is having all key people involved on a project attend the workshop.
- There are four main components of construction project, which are the owner, the general
contractor, architectural and engineering, and the sub contractor.
- The main benefit is save time and money.
Ex. the Arizona Department of Transportation has made partnering of its
15) Strategic Alliance between Private Business and State Owned Foreign Business
- This strategy can be risky but can be profitable as well.
Ex. Honeywell and Sinopec create cooperative joint venture to help Sinopec to be a world-class refining
and petrochemical corporation by 2000. Honeywell can double the sales to Sinopec’s 38 enterprises.
Honeywell anticipates a minimum of $75 million in new sales over the five years
16) Strategic Alliances for Distribution
- Both parties join each other to distribute their products.
- Both parties get benefits.
Ex. Coca Cola and Nestle distribute Nestle iced coffee drink in Korea. Coke has good distribution channel
and Nestle has products that do not directly compete with their existing products.
17) Strategic Alliances with Your Customers
- It can be very rewarding
18/ Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)
Coupled with the idea of VMI, you will find Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Just-In-Time (JIT),
and Integrated Supply (I/S). As distribution moves closer to Supply Chain Integration, there are a lot of
benefits for people who participate in such as – Improved inventory control
- Reduced vendor base
- Increased product or supply turns
- Reduced inventory investment
- Reduction of transaction costs
- Improved service levels
- Increased sales
- Reduction in out-of-stocks
- Improved profit margins
- Reduction of purchasing staff
19) Strategic Alliances with Your Suppliers
As American companies shrink the number of suppliers, they are putting more energy into the
remaining relationships, and are even willing to pay a premium on the theory that getting things right
initially is cheaper in the long run. This is in contrast to how we think of American business for the last
60 years or so, functioning within the paradigm of adversary relationships. Squeezing the life blood
from your supplier had become standard.
Ex. Nowadays big firms are slashing their vendor rolls and working more closely with a select few. Xerox
has reduced their suppliers from 5,000 to 500, Motorola from 10,000 to 3,000, and Digital Equipment
from 9,000 to 3,000.
Techniques to build a strong alliance with your suppliers
1. Look for partners who wanted to partner with you
You must indentify which of your suppliers truly want to develop alliances with you
Spend your time building those relationship with your suppliers that will help you to
serve your market and improve your bottom line
When you commit to a closer relationship with your suppliers, it helps them and they
can offer you a better total value package
2. Ask your suppliers, “What can I do for you?”
We can help to come up with strategies for the end-users to buy better from the
manufacturers in a way that served the manufacturers
The Fuji Factor
Among the major suppliers to the graphic arts industry, Fuji was by far the most advanced in
building quality relationships with its dealers. The Fuji factor is a model that more manufacturers should
embrace and more purchasers should demand of their suppliers.
The key elements to Fuji’s success are as follows:
A limited number of dealers offering their products to their market
Manufactured products of the highest quality with zero defects as the norm
Build tight relationships with a limited dealer network
Seek constructive feedback from dealers and act upon the ideas shared
Consistency of leadership -- ( no changes in leadership)
Accessibility -- (dealers can pick up the phone and reach the president of Fuji easily)
20) Alliances on the Internet
Ex. of an internet strategic alliance is Lifelines. The site is an alliance between the company and
several health and employee productivity related companies. The site lets corporate decision makers
know what is available for them in the area of employee effectiveness and productivity. The
information on the site helps people to improve their effectiveness through improved health and
21) Mastermind Alliances
It is also known as strategic alliances for individual development. The group of the mastermind
alliances must be geographically close to each other. This will allow them to get together regularly to
have a meeting to discuss the problems or something that occurs.
Ex. Palm Springs Breakfast Club which has a strategic alliance with other California cities to draw tourists
to the state. This mastermind alliance is consisted of general managers from seven other deluxe hotels,
the convention center director, and the owner of the aerial tram. They meet every Wednesday and
rotate member locations weekly. They discuss issues uniquely important to the hospitality business in
downtown Palm Springs.
What is Alliance Strategy: Introduction
Business Alliance Presentation Outline
Introduction of “Mastering Alliance Strategy”
In the past, alliance was just a tool for entering restricted overseas market, but today it is an
effective tool to help increase the corporate value and competitive advantages, around 20-50% of
corporate value comes from alliances. Many successful firms use alliance as their fuel such as British
Petroleum, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Corning Glass, Federal Express, IBM, Starbucks, Cisco Systems,
Millennium pharmaceuticals, and Siebel Systems.
- Definition of Alliance
o Three characteristics
Separate firms involves in resource contributions to create joint value. Still
maintain the corporate structure
All alliances are in the sense of “incomplete contract.” No specific structure,
Joint decision making to manage the business and share the value.
- Why we need to do alliance?
o 30-70% of alliance fail
Unclear strategy, Poor Partner choice, Weak or unbalanced alliance economics,
Dysfunctional governance, Crashing corporate culture and goal, Lack of
sufficient operating staff skills and parent commitment.
- Alliance Design
o Identify the role of alliance
(Roles of alliance in business strategy)
Example, Corning Glass has three main firms ally together, which each firms
have different roles of alliance.
With Samsung for the role in responsible for TV glass
With Dow Company, responsible for silicones
With Siemens, responsible for fiber-optic cabling
o Setting goals (Lower cost, more effective)
o What criteria for selecting partners (Match with our strategies)
o Crafting the structure and process
Ex, how the negotiate and making decision
- Alliance Management
o How to manage to achieve the alliance design?
Ex. Xerox in Fuji. These companies have a very strong management. They were
flexible and forwarding looking in managing their two relationships.
o Management changes overtime due to the change in industry environments.
If we misinterpret, it leads to weaknesses.
o Continuous improvement
o Everyone involvement
- Alliance constellation
o What’s alliance constellation?
o With the alliance constellation, the firms inside the group need to be able to design and
manage as a group.
Every firm must have the same understanding about the management and the
o Conflicts and inefficiency may arise if mismanagement.
o On the other hand, if well managing, it can save resource and diversify the growth.
- Alliance Capability
o How well of our internal capability, which is the infrastructures in the organization.
Ex. Skills of people and skills of organization
o A good alliance strategy therefore start at home
Weak internal capability creates obstacles
A good internal capability can expose business to broader choices of partners
The Arc of Alliance Strategy
This is the integrated view of what is take to success with alliance. The strongest linkage is
between the alliance design and alliance management. Alliance management must be accordingly to the
design. Those four elements are all related. This Arc of alliance strategy is based on the most important
factors, which are business strategy and business organization.
At the left hand side, the relationship between the alliance constellation and alliance design
represents the relationship where the constellation leads to individual design because it influences goals
and partner selection. At the right side, the link between the alliance capability and alliance
management represents the relationship where the internal infrastructures affect and create the
management of the alliance.
In conclusion, as we know that many firms cannot succeed if they try to do everything by
themselves, so alliances is in need and very important for progress and growth. However, there is no
perfect alliance strategy for every business type and situation. Therefore, firms should keep an eye on
change and opportunity and have to wisely adjust and adapt themselves to the environment due to the
mastery comes from deep understand, practice, and the wisdom of others
Corporate Self Analysis
Corporate Self-Analysis process focuses on the elements of your company’s profile.
1. The Culture Clusters
2. The Financial Picture
3. The Business Definition and SWOT Analysis
4. The Possible Strategic Direction
5. The Senior Executive Input
6. Selection of Alliance Strategy
I. The Culture Clusters
A corporate or organizational culture is a set of coping mechanisms or adaptation skills
that members of the culture use both within and outside their corporate environment. Corporate
culture manifests itself in a variety of corporate habit patterns, often seen in the form of rituals,
ceremonies, etc. Ex: Many companies have sports teams and different departments compete
against each other. OR Friday causal dress day is another company cultural norm. The Culture
Cluster can de divided into 10 separate areas that should be examined.
1. Decision making and problem solving
This covers all the ways decisions are made in an organization, including those that
reflect management and board receptivity to new ideas, esp. the alliance concept. This is one of
the most common areas for culture clash in alliances. One decision-making style is the “shoot
from the hip” (To make a decision or execute an action in the spur of the moment), haphazard
decision making style of some Start-up companies. Ex: Retail Clothing Business. However, the
companies may run into a brick wall when everyone in the organization defers to the Warrior
manager and makes no decision without the Warrior’s approval. An important aspect of decision
making is conflict resolution. The issue here is the facilitation and solution-finding process,
which generally involves finding compromises. Is an issue send to a more senior executive to be
solved and if not, how are the problems solved. It is essential to understand the decision-making
process of the organization.
2. Authority –delegation and control; reporting methods
Decision-making analysis will naturally raise issues concerning authority. “How is
authority delegated and what management controls are in place, including reporting
responsibilities?” This is interrelated to the decision-making process.
3. Work behavior
This topic comprises of dress, management of work space, arrival and departure norms
and whether a company is task or process-oriented. Ex: IBM corporate uniform of well-tailored
suit, white shirt, and tie, and formal clean-cut looks, also seen in the conservative dress of many
large consulting and law firms. One Start-up company involved in speech recognition was
actually more productive at night than during daylight hours. Other organizations use time cards
to regulate and record the comings and goings of all employees.
4. Compensation and incentives
Most organizations have standard policies and procedures regarding compensation and
incentives. The problems occur when an alliance might call for a company to find a different
way of looking at compensation. A clear statement of understanding of the corporate culture
regarding this issue in the inception stages of relationship planning would have averted the bad
feelings and diminishment of trust that later were very difficult to repair.
5. Leadership and mentoring styles
Leadership styles can vary from autocratic (exerting total control) to totally delegative
(exerting little or no control). The amount of leader control is inversely proportional to the
amount of group participation. (Clearly, at the autocratic level there is no group participation).
Ex: in certain parts of India a good business leader will be one who makes decisions without
asking for the input of his subordinates.
Mentoring programs is an important part of many companies management style. Apple
computer is one of them.The company chooses individuals steeped in organizational culture to
groom others who are less familiar with the cultures. Mentoring provides political and
substantive internal access for fast-track junior executives.
6. Communication—oral; written; nonverbal
The message being communicated is not only one written down, but also the act itself
causes the delay, shelves the project, and avoids risk—and risk avoidance is the real message.
That is why the way people present information to partner is an issue in self analysis. Some
companies could not make decisions unless the material was presented in a way with which they
felt comfortable. If the partner is unprepared, the company may change the perception about the
partner and think that their partner is sloppy and did not give the project serious enough
Country (macro) culture is of course important in communications. Miscommunication
can occur on many levels when you combine country cultures, beliefs, systems, values, protocol,
and traditions. When managing an alliance, understanding the difference in communication
styles helps to lesson the tension. But the real struggle occurs at the earlier point, the planning
stage. If you can not conquer your organizational reluctance to analyze this issue now, it may
come back to haunt you later when you are already invested in a partnership.
7. Level of secrecy
Closely related to communication, the level of secrecy considered necessary also follows
the continuum of life-cycle stages, with Start-up companies generally being most opened. The
exception to this is that family or closely privately held companies are often very secretive, no
matter what stages of the cycle are in. This law of secrecy applies to revealing corporate goals,
knowing who the actual decision makers are, close-door meeting, etc. However, public company
cannot be secretive about the information that must be disclosed by law, but that does not mean
that internally and politically they are open.
8. Attitude Toward Time and Milestone
Individual, companies, and countries, differ enormously in their conceptions of time. “On
time” to one may be “half an hour late” to another. This issue has particular impact where
decision making is multilayered. Time is a cultural norm. The terms “now,” “soon,” and “on
time” have a corporate cultural meaning and sometimes a vastly different macro-cultural one as
well. Example, Speedcom, Computer Company, schedules the meeting at 9.00 a.m., but the
meeting actually had begun 9.20 a.m. A twenty-minute delay in start time was the corporate
norm. Milestone has to do with the time-related expectations that placed within and around
9. Ethics and Value
Each of us has an individual code of ethics. It can be based on religions or a nonreligious
code. Now, many organizations are actively developing a code of ethics. Ethical attitude
permeate the entire culture; people with similar beliefs are attracted to each other, whereas those
with different code of ethics will gravitate elsewhere. It is important to raise the issue as part of
the Culture Cluster analysis because ethic has come up with increasing frequency as an alliance
deal breaker in recent years. Your ethical position as an organization will clarify the decision that
you must make when you balance business opportunity with ethical decision made in selecting a
10. Personal versus Corporate Goals
The final aspect of the Culture Cluster is of particular importance in family owned
company. If the company is privately held, the family will have no reason to share their intimate
concerns with others. In this case, the personal goals of the family are the corporate ones and
they may be unclear to anyone in the entire organization except the family members. In an
alliance with family-owned company, the other partner needs to understand the family way of
doing things, especially if it isn’t rational from a business perspective. Example, The U.S.
Company behaves in a U.S. fashion, looking at issue in terms of money valuation only. Other
cultures value relationships more.
II. The Financial Picture
To get a clear financial picture of the organization, you must look at the financial history
and past plans and focus on financial projections that were not attainable and got bad
performance. This is because it will help you to analyze how you implemented plans and which
one was fit or was not fit with the strategies to avoid the same mistakes.
III. The Business Definition and SWOT Analysis
1. The Business Definition
There are two goals for the business definition
- To define existing business.
- To assess future potential.
2. SWOT analysis
The way to do SWOT analysis
- List the major characteristics of a company which contains
A description of the company
Products and services
- Outline both strong and weak areas.
- Include product, service, and market evaluation in SWOT information and prepare questions and
thoughtful answers that you think your international strategic partner might ask such as “Has the
product been tested and proved in the home market?” or “How has the product/service been doing
in the United States?”.
SWOT analysis should include sources of strength for membership on the alliance team.
In the planning stages, the team should include representatives from
Corporate planning group
This is because cross-functionality is very important to broad-based responsibility for the
IV. The Possible Strategic Direction
In this process, it will need to discuss the preferred strategic direction into which the
company will direct its alliance activity
For large company, the strategic information gathering and SWOT analysis is repeated in
each division. The information has to be shared and centralized to gain the maximum benefit.
There should be a central repository for competitive analysis such as in the departments of
business development, corporate alliances, or strategic planning.
In one company, centralized sharing of information and planning did not take place;
therefore, a number of divisional managers found themselves bumping into their colleagues in
the lobbies of the same potential partners
V. The Senior Executive’s Input: “Golf Course” and “Designer” Alliances
Golf course alliance – arises when two chief executives meet on the golf course and
agrees that they really should do something together. After that each CEO goes back to tell his
staff to work on the problem and let do strategic alliance with XYZ Corp. The staffs are more
Designer alliance is a relationship that is announced with great fanfare and press
coverage and hailed as a great new step toward changing an entire industry. Because of
inadequate strategic fit and a short-circuiting of the process of the strategic, corporate, and
personality analysis, the task are much publicized, so actual work will slow down. For example,
the latest high-fashion designs, which are given enormous, press coverage, but few normal
people actually wear such clothes, not do they have real practical work.
VI. Selection of Alliance Strategy
Now, you need to decide what type of alliance strategy is most appropriate for you. Since
now you understand how your organizational culture works, and the financial and strategic
pictures of your company, the risks can be managed.
Develop a mission statement
You should now be in a position to develop a mission statement for your alliance activity
that has both qualitative and quantitative. An important of writing a mission statement is that it
serves as a reference point to assess your company’s success in the alliance. Examples of
statements of success expectations are ROI, expanded distribution, certain sales revenues from
new products. Statements of goals that are too generic and undefined may lead to unreasonable
and misaligned expectations.
If you do not clearly state your success criteria in the planning stages, it will be difficult
to make strategically correct decisions. Defining your success criteria at this point will assist you
in looking clearly at the opportunity within your corporate guidelines, and will help you refocus
your energies in a strategic direction.
New team members in both planning and implementation may not remember the starting
position in relationship development and may undervalue some of the concessions and
compromises. This is good reason to develop a formal, explicit, written statement of your
objectives and your success criteria for the alliance.
Group 10: Dada, Vorakarn, Natcha, Patharaporn
How To Find and Select Alliance Partners:
Chapter 3: How to Find & Select Alliance Partners
Finding an Alliance Partner
Partnering Axiom Number One: You can only partner with someone or an organization
that wants to partner.
Where Does One Find Great Alliance Partners?
There are several places to start finding great alliance partners:
Your suppliers: They know your competitors and other local business people from a different
perspective than you. You can learn about their buying habits, bill-paying habits, and other
important information about them. They are generally a wealth of knowledge.
Your customers: They have most likely done some business with the person or company that
you are seeking. They, too have a unique window through which they have viewed your potential
Your professional or trade association: a great place to search if you want to build an alliance
with either competitors or suppliers. The executive director of the association is usually the
person who is most in tune with the players in your industry.
Newspaper and trade magazines: These sources offer current information on the movers and
shakers in many industries. They also compare, research, and tell interesting bits of information
about businesses and key layers. Study these publications as a source for selecting possible
Local successful business people: They can be found at the chamber of commerce activities and
mixers, civic service clubs, charitable organizations, and even local seminars.
Study groups and mastermind alliances: If satisfied partners are unable to be found, start one
with people in your community.
Think about outside professionals: consultants, lawyers and accountants.
Selecting an Alliance Partner
Identifying a Strategic Alliance Partner’s Core Values
First, compare your core values with the five values. Be clear on what both you, and your
company, are all about. Then, as you start looking at possible partners, seek to understand their
values and try to determine if your circles of interest overlap. The more your circles of interest
overlap, the better the chance for your future alliance to be successful and lasting.
If you have little information on your potential partner, first try working with them on a
small project. Though the project is small, be sure it is somewhat difficult. Then wait and watch
to see how they operate under pressure. You will then have a better idea about their viability as an
Understand your needs, strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to also understand those of alliance
partners. Do this and your success is nearly certain.
For alliance relationships, trust is the necessary element to move the possible alliance from inertia
to action. Without the trust factor, alliance relationships are sure to fail.
To help you in building trust and creating an environment where all partners have the ability to
grow fully comfortable with one another.
1. Recognize and reinforce the relationship behaviors you want of you alliance partners
2. Break down the communication barriers between your and your alliance partner’s
3. Quarterly, or at least semi-annually, complete a relationship value update form, and then
encourage your alliance partner to do the same. Send your completed form to your alliance
partner and ask your partner to send theirs to you.
4. Be a role model of the behaviors you believe are important for alliance partners.
However, trust wisely, and with caution. Do the right things, looking toward the long-term rather
than the short term. Help your alliance partner to help you. Let the trust build and grow over the
years. Do these things, and the benefits that you and your partner share will multiply.
For an alliance to work, the core value of tolerance must be cherished and practiced by all the
alliance members. When you can accept the value of an idea rather than be concerned about
whose inspiration it was, you will truly exhibit tolerance. Then you exhibit tolerance, the by-
product of your effort is understanding. When you understand your alliance partner and their
needs, you will work toward creating value for them in their areas of need.
Success is only possible through an attitude of cooperation. Today, most business want to grow
and that is an important reason for developing strategic alliances. And growth is the natural
outcropping of cooperation. Therefore, in order for alliances to grow and succeed, they must
cooperate and work together, rather than separately.
Caring enough about your strategic alliance and its members is the necessary foundation to
making a commitment. It is this element that allows each partner in an alliance to feel he will be
heard, and will be reasonably safe from criticism.
A strategic alliance must be an institution where individuals, organizations, and companies come
together to develop a relationship of trust, tolerance, cooperation, commitment, and mutuality.
Importantly, couple these values with the desire to win and now you have the foundation for
successful strategic alliances. If one strategic alliance has no design to win, it will adhere to
another and enjoys free ride, hanging on and benefiting from one another’s effort and
contributing nothing. It can only be dislodged with great difficulty and pain.
So mutuality is the must have ingredient in a successful partnering alliance.
The 10 Crucial Qualities to Look In An Alliance Partner
1. Your partner wants to win.
Pick a partner who is already a winner. The relationship with a weak partner will only
bring you and your organization down. Both you and your partner must have a desire to
win, want to be better, to be useful in creating only what will be valuable to all
2. Your partner must understand that they are ultimately responsible for their own success.
A person who will partner because he or she understands the value of synergies is a great
partner. Important, too, is knowing when partnering is and is not the best choice for a
situation. Caveat parts! (Beware of Partner!). Accountability is a double-edge sword.
Don’t always assume that your partner is looking out for your best interest. You both are
human – and as such, are susceptible to the fault of not always acting in your partner’s
3. Your partner must be an active listener.
To truly keep in touch with the heartbeat of an alliance, active listening is a crucial skill.
This helps you to know what you need to do and when the other side is falling behind in
their commitment to you. Alertness from both sides equals mutual success.
4. Your partner must understand and care about what drives your business.
Because successful partnering is about synergies, you must consistently give and receive
additional value in the relationship. The only way to add value is to know what it is that
creates value for your partner. This is the only possible with an understanding of the
needs and goals of your partner.
5. Your partner must respond to, and act on, feedback.
The only possibility for a forward and beneficial movement in any organization is with
leaders who are willing to accept council. Not one of us is smart enough to know it all!
6. Your partner must be flexible, especially when events or circumstances are not what were
If you don’t have the ability to change direction when the road ahead is washed out, you
will most likely find yourself wishing for rescuers as you float uncontrollably down the
stream. Flexibility is absolutely necessary because things will never be exactly as we
expect. Silicon Graphics’ Stan Meresman believes in “saying flexible enough to evolve
7. Your partner must be trusting, trustworthy, and with integrity, respecting all with whom
they come in contract.
You can’t always be looking over your shoulder in an alliance relationship. Partnering
with people who are trusting and trustworthy relieves a major nuisance, one that you can
8. Your partner seeks win/win arrangements and solutions.
You must look after yourself. But if that’s all you do, you’re of little value as a partner.
You must win for the sake of your organization. And your partner must do the same. You
do not want a partner who sees the world as zero-sum game. You want a partner that is
interested in making the pie bigger, so everyone gets more. This creates a desire for both
of you to continue the relationship. The partnering advantage becomes stronger, the
longer the relationship lasts.
9. Your partner must understand that partnering is a relationship of interdependence.
Not dependently or independently, but together, you are weaving a tapestry. Visualize
your partner and yourself as overlapping circles. The parts that overlap are your area of
mutual interest and value. The greater the overlap, the greater the mutual interest and
value. This overlapping area is your area of interdependence. Working together for
mutual improvement is one of the great benefits received from partnering.
10. You and your partner must have great chemistry.
If both people or organizations exude many of the above qualities, and have good
chemistry, it is an unstoppable alliance. This is what we all desire to achieve.
Credentials of Your Future Alliance Partner
The ability to do and produce what your partner perceives you can (individual or company)
through skills, technology, and relationships.
Alliance agreements are of little value when a partner cannot deliver what is promised.
Have something new to bring to the party. If you are selling hamburgers, then lettuce, pickles,
and catsup are necessary but not innovative. Building an alliance with someone who only has
these to offer is fine, but limiting. Suppose someone could supply you with all of the above, and
had guacamole? The guacamole is different, thereby allowing you to create new product – the
guacamole burger (it is a silly example but it makes the point). A partner that had an innovative
method to produce fat-free fried chicken would also be bringing something new to the party,
allowing you to increase your penetration within a limited local market.
Having the financial ability to stay-the-course. If your alliance partner has the means to
continually contribute their agreed share, your continued success is promising.
Cultural compatibility, operates from integrity, and is willing to challenge existing corporate
Complimentary core strengths, allowing for benchmarking of overlapping capabilities and the
elimination of “recreating of the wheel syndrome.”
The ability to think not only strategically, but also tactically.
- Following are three relationship realities, unpleasant as they are. These realities will have a
powerful effect, good or bad, on the success of your alliance relationship.
People do not change after marriage!
What you see is what you get!
You deserve the partner you select!
Knowing the alliance partner: Who they are is important.
You should visit your potential partner at their place of business. This may seem a bit on the edge, but..
set up an appointment to visit for, say Tuesday, but show up on Monday. When they say you’re a day
early, say “I’m sorry, my mistake. Can we visit anyway?”
If they are less than willing to let you look around, you would be suspicious and consider the situation a
red flag. Why? On a personal level, when you have a party at your house, don’t you always clean up, get
special food for the party and so on? Sure you do. You want to put on your best face and it is not really
who you are everyday. It is not how you live, you want to catch you potential alliance partner in their real
life, not with the special face they put on for you. Knowing who your partner really is eliminates much of
the need for conflict resolution and exit agreements.
If you are clear about what you have to offer an alliance partner and what you want from an alliance, you
have discovered purposes. When you have a purpose in developing a strategic alliance, your plan seems
to arrive on its own. Then the road map of success will become clear to you.
Selecting the Partner
Choosing the alliance is one of the most important issues in forming the alliance. It is because it
deals with the success and failure of the alliance, and when the alliance fails, there is no recovery from
choosing the wrong partner just like the marriage.
The partner selective process is a step 5 of the Alliance Framework, which can be split into three
1. Which potential partner shows the minimum trouble for some disagreements in SAEs?
2. Which potential partner provides the best match of required resources?
3. Which potential partner agrees with our deal itself?
In an ideal world, the best partner will be seen after step 3 and 4. However, in the real world,
selecting partners or narrowing down the partners is very difficult because it is rare to find the partners
who are completely aligned on all strategy and resources. Therefore, we come up with the Alliance
Framework to help choosing the best possible alternative of potential partners and then move forward
to the negotiation on an agreement in step 6 through the strategic and resource fit reconciliation maps.
The Strategic Fit Reconciliation Map
Many companies planning for an alliance often come across with a problem of differences in
strategy. To solve the problem, there are three possible ways which are, to agree with the partner’s
position, to convince the partner to agree with your position, or to develop a compromise between the
two positions. The strategic fit reconciliation map plays an important role in helping the firm to choose
the right partner. The process will simply provide a visual summary of the strategic fit between each
partner in a matrix form, which also makes it easier to communicate to the top corporate management
by allowing them to assess the information in just a glace.
Structure & Process of the Strategic Fit Reconciliation Map
Strategic Assessment Our firm Partner 1 Partner2
OK The partner accepts our position in the SAE
OK+ The partner’s resources are outstanding and complementary to ours
? We have disagreement, and are unsure about the resolution
We have disagreement, but the partner is likely to accept our position
We have disagreement, but the partner’s position is acceptable to us
~ A compromise can probably be negotiated that meets both firms’ strategic needs
x A probable deal-killer. We have disagreement and cannot accept partner’s position. An
acceptable compromise is unlikely
A partner has a weakness that can be overcome through the use of third-party resource in a
financially viable manner
Sample Case: The Pet food Company
Background: A large pet food company wants to form the alliance with a biological firm to come up with
new nutrition ingredients into its pet foods. The goal is to jointly develop a series of new product lines
with a biological firm. The pet food company would distribute the improved products through its
Problem: There were two biotechnology candidates (company A and company B). The pet food company
decided to go on the process of strategic assessment. As a result, in step 3 of SAE, it showed clearly that
both firms had conflicts with the pet food company.
To establish and maintain reputation for innovation though sole-branding
The customers would see the pet food company brand only, not biotechnology brand
Intended to do the alliance to achieve long-lasting advantage over competitors
Wanted its name associated with the new pet food
Any jointly developed product will be cobranded
Gave a pet food firm a one-year exclusively right to use the nutrients, after which Company B
would be free to provide licenses to others
After analyzing each company’s requirements, we can simply put them in the map below.
SAE Pet food company Company A Company B
Our objective Sole brand ? [cobranded] OK
Market Model Sole brand ? [cobranded] OK
Strategic Exclusivity Exclusive rights OK ? [one-year head start]
Resolving the disagreement: The pet food company looped back to step2 and reconsidered whether sole
branding was necessary? Therefore, they came up with a solution that joining with company A would
also help them to achieve their marketplace objective. However, the solution for company B was
impossible for them as they believed that it was too risky to build a strong foothold in the market to
defend competition in only one year
Therefore, the updated strategic map will as the table below.
SAE Pet food company Company A Company B
Our objective Sole brand OK
Market Model Sole brand OK
Strategic Exclusivity Exclusive rights OK X
The Resource Fit Reconciliation Map
To summarize the resources that potential partners provided whether which one was best
fitted to the company in order to develop a successful joint venture
To test the quality and quantity of the potential partners’ resources whether it could fit with the
firm’s resource or not
Example of the Resource Fit Reconciliation Map
Key Resource Company A Company B
The example of pet food company (Con’t)
Outstanding research commitment and development
Satisfactory level of technical support provision
Satisfactory ability to work closer with the pet food company’s staff to jointly develop new
Outstanding research commitment and development
Satisfactory level of technical support provision
High ability to work closer with the pet food company’s staff to jointly develop new products
After analyzing these scenarios, we can put it in the resource fit reconciliation map in the same
way as we plotted the strategic fit reconciliation map as followed
Key Resource Company A Company B
Research capability OK+ OK+
Technical support OK OK
Contribution to joint development of product OK OK+
based on preexisting nutrients
After analyzing both the strategic and resource fit reconciliation map, the pet food company
concludes that they will choose to do the alliance with Company A even though they contribute less
than Company B because Company B’s one-year exclusive right in the Strategic fir Reconciliation map is
not acceptable. Therefore, Company A is chosen.
Self-Selection: The Intangible Factor in Partner Selection
Strategic fit and resource fit are important to select partners, but another important factor is
commitment by partners toward the project. Motivation behind a successful alliance comes from the
hearts and minds of key people. When the firm’s people have self-selected themselves into the deal, the
energy that comes from self-motivation is tangible and translates into positive alliance results.
The Multiple Partners Option
In the best case, one potential partner stands out above the other and is clear choice for step 6
negotiation. However, sometimes the strategic fit, resource fit, and commitment level show that two or
more candidates are highly qualified.
In this case, the best course of action is to move forward to step 6 negotiations with multiple
firms. Final partner selection depends on the results of other alliance framework elements such as
There is another situation where multiple step 6 negotiation is required. Sometimes, step 2, 3,
and 4 show that the alliance should be a multiparty relationship
Battelle’s MicroCATS alliance, the resource fit assessments show that an alliance with
several partners could best meet Battelle’s needs. Before starting step 6 negotiations, you will need to
review the strategy fit and resource fit assessment carefully. In that review, you must evaluate the
likelihoods that all of the companies involved will agree to compatible positions on all Alliance Framewo