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FROM STRATEGIC ALLIANCES TO DOBBINS INTERNATIONAL

I am often asked after lectures, PodCasts and/or seminars on Strategic Alliances, “Randall, how did you get into this?” Let me start at the beginning. I believe you are already familiar with the fact that I’ve had a great professional career. I started at Shell Oil Company without a college degree. I attended college at night and worked a full-time day job. After earning my degree, I was promoted from support staff to staff at Shell. This meant at that time, I had a career path to the very top of Shell.I had numerous assignments in supply chain and purchasing. I then left Shell and went to Wesco Distribution (formerly Westinghouse Electric Supply Company). Eventually, I landed at a company called Pantellos, which was a “dot.com”. After Pantellos, I started Dobbins International. By that time, I had amassed skills in forming strategic alliances - as they are known in the supply chain world. Strategic alliances are the most intimate of buyer-seller relationships that really drive, and v…
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HOW TO SHORTEN THE TIME IT TAKES TO LAND A CORPORATE CONTRACT

Do you want to shorten the time it takes to land a corporate contract? Of course you do. With shorter time spent to land contracts, you will have an opportunity to pursue multiple business avenues. In order to make this happen, you must concentrate on your initial pitch – probably the most crucial part of the process.I cannot stress enough how important it is that you get it right. If you are going to be a Blueprint Pro and we are going to get you to those six, seven, eight & nine-figure contracts, then you absolutely must nail the initial approach. When I was a buyer, the thing that stood out in potential suppliers’ initial pitches was that most of them were not ready. If you’re not ready, it’s going to take an eternity to get a contract. Sure, you can get lucky. You can happen to be in the right place at the right time on the right day and get a shot, and you may be one of those rare individuals that, really and truly, all you need is that shot. Somehow everything falls into plac…

Doing "Anything" Will Hurt Your Business

DOING “ANYTHING” WILL HURT YOUR BUSINESS
I’ve been at networking events, talking to diverse suppliers and eventually in the conversation we get to the point where it has become obvious that their “pitches” are not working. Usually they know it and I know it, so then they will say “Look, I will do anything”. I understand that these are good folks with viable businesses who are saying if I can just get my foot in the door, you’ll see that I was worth taking a risk on. The problem with that scenario is that it doesn’t help me as the person trying to find a place for them to do “anything”. For example, imagine that you are trying to participate in the Olympics and you are talking to the person who can get you in an Olympic event and they say, “Well, what’s your event?” And you say “well, I just want to be in the Olympics, I can run anything.” Now imagine that the person to whom you are speaking is handling all the Track and Field events: the 100-meter; the hurdles; the steeplechase; relays; …

The Partner Economy: The Single Greatest Opportunity and Threat to Your Business

THE PARTNER ECONOMY: THE SINGLE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY AND THREAT TO YOUR BUSINESS

A gentleman that I recently met at a conference said something that I found fascinating. He said that “in the old days it was the big that beat the small, but in the current economy it’s the fast that beat the slow”. This guy worked for a large company and he recognized that the old business models weren't really working like they used to. As examples, in earlier years Standard Oil (which is now Exxon Mobil); Rockefeller; Ford; and US Steel owned all the factors of production from beginning to end. They were integrated - they owned everything. They could build everything, and they controlled everything. They controlled the price of every single raw material for input. They controlled the pricing that it took to make everything in the middle. Clearly they controlled the price at which they could sell everything because there wasn't a lot of competition back then, so that was a fantastic business mod…
THE SECRET SAUCE


Corporations were interested in giving a helping hand to minority-owned companies - not a hand-out - in the early years of supplier diversity. They were willing to help them get in the door and to reach a certain level, but they were not guaranteeing a contract for life. In order to get a contract for life, your company had to out-perform everybody else that was performing the same service. Once the helping hand had been extended and you took it, you had to quickly transition to leveraging that helping hand to get new business with new customers.
Large companies are very judicious when awarding contracts to minority-owned and/or woman-owned businesses because of what is known as a “pass through” or “front business”. Majority owned companies would find someone diverse – it could be a woman, a Hispanic, African American, an Asian, etc., or in today’s world, a gay, lesbian, or veteran and use that person as a “front” to have their company qualify as a minority-owned busine…

Does Size Really Matter?

Does size really matter? Yep, the question is “does the size of your company really matter regarding getting contracts with the big boys”? The short answer is “yes”. The longer answer is “maybe”, if you're talking about the six, seven, eight, nine, ten figure contracts. If it's a large  manufacturing plant for example, you might be able to get that larger contract servicing one location, but more than likely for these types of contracts with the big boys, you're going to be covering multiple sites, multiple locations, multiple business units, and so you have the issue of what is reasonable for your company to handle. Ask yourself “would they give a $10 million contract to a company that only has one, two or three employees”? What if they thought you could ramp up and service the contract? Maybe, but more than likely that's going to be a push. You'd have to work really hard to convince them that you could handle the job with only a staff of three - even though the s…
Is Your Company the Fighter Big Corporations Need?

The questions you should ask yourself before seeking to form Strategic Partnerships with large corporations are: Do I have a solution that a corporation would say is valuable to them? Do I sell my products and services the way my target corporate client buys it?Do I have a solution that my customer - a corporate client - would say they value, and am I offering my product and service the way they buy it - not am I selling it the way I want to sell it? Am I offering it the way they buy it; the way they go to market to get it? To further expound on these questions, also consider the following: “Can Idemonstrate that I am the exception and I can do better than what my competition is doing?”
Is your company the fighter big corporations need? What do I mean by that you may ask? This really and truly falls under the category of if you continue to do what you've always done, then you're going to get what you've always gotten.
Big co…