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Strategic partnerships

Most companies are now simultaneously facing corporate, administrative, ethical, organizational, technical, and technological issues. The tasks of a leader are multiplying at an impressive rate. The scarcity of manpower adds to the obligation of the leader to keep both hands on the wheel.


Small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to meet their management obligations without undermining their daily operations. The pendulum is swinging back from the hard-working to the soft-working and the new workforce is taking a different approach to obligations towards employers. Business models are evolving drastically.

The modern entrepreneur becomes the one who has managed to fulfill his obligations and objectives with a minimum of resources and costs. This is often what keeps him competitive. Large offices with secretaries typing all day long are being replaced by smaller offices equipped with all the tools of mobile office automation and remote work. The companies that adapt to change are the ones that become the most attractive.

In its modernity, the current entrepreneur must sort out the operations that are critical to its perennially and those that do not necessarily represent corporate, operational, or ethical issues, but remain obligations.

The first migration was done through outsourcing in the form of subcontracting or mandate. This approach allowed the creation of specialized firms that allowed companies to be relieved of work or obligations. These obligations do not necessarily constitute full-time work or represent positions that are difficult to fill or have a high turnover. The high demand for this type of outsourcing has created a very strong pressure on the demand for services, putting the subcontracting or outsourcing firms in a position of strength that favors them in terms of fees and availability. The risk of overbidding on outsourcing costs, which threatens the private sector, can make small and medium-sized businesses vulnerable to these costs and hold them hostage to organizational points of no return.

Strategic partnerships are emerging. These allow companies to share departments or services by optimizing them and sharing costs. This approach, when well planned, allows for a reduction in staffing needs while maintaining the missions and objectives of each. These partnerships are mostly between partners who are not in competition or with few business ties.

At the Val-d’Or Industrial Development Corporation, for example, we share our accounting department with other organizations. This approach allows us to hire an accountant and, with a volume of work occupying him full time, allows us to have a competent person and to remunerate him in a competitive way.

These partnerships can be in social media management, human resources management, immigration, environment, health and safety, R&D, secretarial services, and so on. Some companies are going without services and others have underutilized resources. Why not find the win-win approach?

Like any partnership, the partners must be compatible and open, they must be honest and transparent with each other. They need to establish shared costs, co-payments, shared tools, information protection policies, payment policies, shared legal responsibility and hosting of the service. This is not a takeover by either partner, but a sharing of services on neutral ground where each benefit from the service without any right of control over the other’s services other than their usage ratio. Mechanisms for monitoring the status of the partnership and exit points must be established prior to the beginning of any sharing. The entry of new partners must also be addressed.

Strategic partnerships are avenues that can allow companies and organizations to remain current while streamlining costs and adapting services to their organizational culture and expectations.

We were able to land a spacecraft on Mars through shared visions.

We can make companies grow through imagination and good faith while keeping both feet on the ground.

Jean-Yves Poitras, commissaire industriel