by Paul Farrell, Managing Director
There are two types of relationships in business and only one multiplies the rewards for both client and supplier: partnership.
The difference between a contractor and a partner show in the interactions people have with one another on either side of the project: contractors clock off at the end of the day and forget about your project as they walk out the door. They quibble over terms in the contract, making what should be an easy task officious and tedious. They withhold their experience and just get the job done to the letter of your order even if they could see a better way of completing the project.
Partners take a genuine interest in what you are doing in your project and treat it as if it were their own. Partnership between a customer and a supplier is the only type of relationship where 1+1 = 3, where if either party walked away from the relationship they would be less.
Partnerships are based on trust and care and it leads to consistent delivery and true alignment with your goals as an individual and as an organization. Partners don’t just come in for the day and walk out at the end – they invest time into understanding where you are going as an organization, but also challenging you.
I recently sat down with the owners of a client of ours and told them we don’t want to take another $150,000 purchase order from them. I didn’t think it was right for their business in the long run. While the directors of this business weren’t initially happy with their direction being challenged, they could see that it was intended to put them on the right path and get their product launched. We continue to work closely with this client and it is our goal to ensure their success, not just delivery of the project.
NGIS’ success has been built upon a foundation of trust with long term clients. Our brand slogan is “People Partnership Success” because we live it everyday in our projects to get the best outcomes for the people who do business with us.
True innovation can’t happen in a low trust environment. When teams aren’t appreciated and they are measured on delivering exactly what is on the contract and nothing else, there is no room to try new things when it can make a difference. Partnerships are give and take – where there is a dominant party over the other, there can be no partnership.
In a contractor relationship, not only does the environ for innovation not exist, it is more costly for the client. When risk of failure or delays will be reliably enforced by contract, chances to make big leaps through new approaches simply aren’t taken, which means the talent and experience of the external party remains unused.
If you want to get more out of the people who do work for you, there are a few things you should make happen:
About the author: Paul Farrell
Paul is the Managing Director of NGIS Australia.