Robert Millard Peter Scott
Edge International Peter Scott Consulting
• What are your key objectives for the day?
• What will a successful outcome look like
• A relationship formed for mutual benefit
• A means to achieve your strategic
objectives – not a strategy itself
What is your strategy?
The collaborative options
Why consider alliancing (rather
than merger or going it alone)?
• What are you seeking to achieve?
• What are the drivers of alliancing for you?
• To build competitive advantage by:
- better servicing clients?
- access to new / better markets / market knowledge?
- a means to better exploit opportunities?
- a means to obtain referrals?
• The successful alliance is the one that adds client added
- the WOW factor!
Follow your clients
• your client base
• where your clients are doing business
• inward / outward referrals
It is also good CRM to talk to your clients about
How to service your clients
• Ascertain your clients’ needs
- geographically ?
- expertise and service ?
- short term / long term ?
• Service your client - or else
• Will it meet your clients’ needs?
• Will it meet your needs?
• What does your alliance partner seek from the alliance?
• Is it intended to be a first step to merger?
• Do you have a PLAN?
Health warning -the world is littered with failed
To better service your clients?
• How will your alliance add value to your clients?
• Identify your focus / market positioning
- what are to be the “drivers” of your alliance?
- what will your alliance become known for?
- selected / restricted work areas/sectors?
- “ad hoc” based project work?
- some work may have to be referred elsewhere
• Will your alliance make you more competitive?
How will your clients view your
• Uneven quality of service?
• Lack of relationship?
• Lack of knowledge about client?
• Fee arrangements?
• Are they the best firm for the job?
Your collaborative options?
• Multi-national and multi-disciplinary?
• Ad hoc for a special purpose?
• Partial or whole business?
Other collaborative options?
• Best friends relationships?
• Exclusive / non-exclusive?
What will work best for you?
• Need a clear strategy
• Need to assess the comparative
advantages and disadvantages of each
• Need to manage the implementation
How to assess the right form of
alliance for you
Key issues to be determined
• Ensure you have a clear strategy
• Do you have an ultimate destination in
Some key issues to be determined
- levels of service/quality
- pricing/fee sharing
- know how
- regulatory / compliance
Consider the level of CONTROL
you will need over …
• Levels of service
• Pricing / fee structures
• Know how
• Regulatory compliance
• Lose credibility
• Lose clients
• Incur liability
• Find you fail to achieve your strategic
How to build in sufficient degrees of
• Management – who will manage what?
- compliance / regulatory
How to analyse an alliancing
- what you need to look for in a
1. Think culture
• What do we mean when we talk about
• Our cultures need to be compatible
2. Think Reputation
“Your good name is the richest jewel you
can possibly be possessed of”
3. Do we have compatible
• Whose ambitions?
• Are our destinations the same?
4. Meeting our objectives?
Will our alliance provide both of us with what
we are each seeking to achieve:
• Competitive advantage?
• Client added value – the WOW factor?
5. Potential conflicts?
Will potential conflicts outweigh the potential
6. The rewards?
Will the rewards be available:
• To all? or
• To just a few?
How to make an alliance work in
Alliance for the right reasons
• Go back to basics
• Structure should follow strategy
Identify the FOCUS of the
alliance – to achieve both
parties’ strategic objectives
Clarify each party’s territory…
• Exclusive or partial?
• Manage the ambitions of those who are
Construct your building blocks to help make
your alliance a success by managing:
• Levels of performance
• Risk / quality
• Pricing / fee sharing
Get your people working together
• Your partners / staff
• Your clients
Build and reconcile the mutual
• What is our alliance to be known as?
• Will we operate under one brand or
• Liability issues / levels of PI cover?
Conflicts / competition / exclusivity issues at
They can be major issues for any alliance
Above all – work at it and plan
for the future to develop your
How to manage the fall out from
Managing the fall out from a
• Consider ‘get out ‘clauses in the event the
alliance does not work
• Resist the ‘killer clause’
• Put in place contingency planning
• Know your local law
• Manage the PR
Some keys to success
• Alliances have to be worked at
• Communicate all the time
• Exchange your people
• Refer clients and work
• Build trust and confidence in each other
• Build your infrastructure
• Manage your risks
HOW TO GO FORWARD ?
• Do your research on
- your clients
- the market place
- the players in that market place
• Establish a clear and realistic strategy
• Test that strategy
• Establish an achievable implementation plan
• IF you do all the above and more – maybe your Partners
will buy it !
Where will you go from here?