The Power of Partnerships

By Nick Fortuna

Modern supply chains are too complicated for any one company to do everything well, so strategic partnerships are key to solving the big problems facing the material handling industry and its customers. The right partnerships make business relationships more transparent, resilient and sustainable because customers get to work with best-of-breed providers working in their individual areas of expertise and sharing a common goal: customer success.

That’s the viewpoint of James Hendrickson, who knows a thing or two about collaboration. Hendrickson is the director of strategic partnerships and alliances for MHI member Berkshire Grey.

In December, Berkshire Grey launched its Partner Alliance program, which aims to help distribution centers introduce AI and robotics into their operations more quickly and easily by connecting them with vendors certified by Berkshire Grey. Through the Partner Alliance, Berkshire Grey is providing training materials to teach partners about selling robotics systems, said Hendrickson, who’s based at the company’s Pittsburgh Robotics Innovation Center.

“More importantly, we help our partners take a consultative approach to identifying opportunities for their customers to gain value from the right types of robotic automation solutions,” he said. “Ultimately, the goal of any partnership is to extend the reach for the vendor, but with new technologies like advanced robotics, the vendor has a responsibility to educate the channel in both the sales approach and in the technology in order to grow the industry as a whole.”

Berkshire Grey is among a number of supply chain tech players that recently have announced partnerships to better serve customers. When done optimally, such business relationships combine the technical expertise of both companies to produce something that exceeds what either company could have produced on its own.

From working together to partners

In December, MHI member Tele Radio partnered with Buffalo Turbine to make Tele Radio’s Panther remote control solutions standard in many of Buffalo Turbine’s industrial debris and leaf blowers. Tele Radio has provided remote control solutions to Buffalo Turbine for 10 years, and this partnership seemed to be a logical step to help both companies collaboratively design and market their products. Juan Manuel Fortes, marketing manager for Tele Radio, said the companies hope to grow their businesses in tandem by bringing together their complementary knowledge and skills.

“The ever-evolving technology in both industries challenges both companies to constantly move to advance their products, driving both companies to remain successful,” Fortes said.

“Transparency, honesty and dialogue are key to making sure that our customer can plan timely production and release of their products, as they heavily rely on our product. Hard work and integrity are imperative; trust within a partnership has to be earned.”

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