By Scott Newton

Far too often, relationships between manufacturers and distributors start with great expectations, hope and enthusiasm, only to end up in failure. What I call a “false start” is what keeps my colleagues on both sides of the medical device business awake at night – wondering if the investment in the new partnership will pay off.

I’m sure you’ve experienced it too.  That fear that you’ll spend all this time developing a market with an international partner – only to have it produce zero results.

There are many reasons for false starts, from flawed research to misaligned partner selection. But, more often than not, false starts result from a lack of knowledge, poor market choices, unrealistic expectations, and a lack of planning between partners.

In other words, what started with good intentions of collaboration quickly turned into a transactional, non-collaborative relationship.

Why is it so hard to develop and maintain a collaborative relationship? One common scenario seems to be when senior members of the two collaborating organizations structure the partnership but then turn it over to others to execute.

The downstream members of the team may not have the same buy-in or commitment to the partnership.

The costs of a false start add up quickly ­– lost revenue, lost time, lost ground to competitors. Then there’s the brand damage. Just think of all the money invested in a new partnership in the first year alone: travel to meetings, sales training, demonstration equipment, inventory purchases, trade fairs and the administration costs of onboarding new product codes and catalogues.

myCaribou was designed to mitigate the risk of false starts by providing all team members for manufacturers and distributors access to the data and tools that build alignment, enhance collaboration and improve productivity.

Improves marketplace knowledge

Distributors confirm that new partner onboarding is far more successful with manufacturing partners who had a clear understating of the market they want to enter and realistic expectations of the potential given the competitive landscape.

myCaribou has over 600 data points that help manufacturers better understand their opportunity in over 40 countries representing more than 90% of the global market.

Mitigates partner misalignment

Too often, assumptions are made that a business model that worked in one market can be duplicated in another. myCaribou provides manufacturers and distributors with a better understanding of the channel options available in their target markets so they can select the right partner.

myCaribou’s selection tool helps manufacturers search and select by country and by market from a database of over 20,000 distributors globally.

Distributors, in turn, can evaluate and find suppliers from a network of over 20,000 companies that complement their existing product portfolio and call points.

Avoids the transactional relationship trap

myCaribou enables manufacturers and distributors to communicate 24/7 on a single platform, which reduces the likeliness of a collaborative relationship turning into something less productive. Both partners can communicate together in a secure workspace to achieve their shared goals, execute projects, and ultimately drive sales. 

Do the math: preventing false starts optimizing your ROI

We’ve developed a calculator to see for yourself how you can optimize your channel’s ROI by using the myCaribou platform. Email me a copy of the ROI calculator.

Because let’s face it – the investment you make into new partnerships each year is high. But with the right data and collaborative tools, there’s no reason to end a relationship due to a false start.

Book a demo to see how myCaribou’s can improve performance and accelerate your growth – can you afford not to?