Working collaboratively can help you to improve your business performance and products, enhance staff skills and win new business.
Members of a network will frequently engage in information-sharing and work together on cost-reduction measures to maximise their competitiveness. They will often collaborate on commercial ventures such as the development of new products or the penetration of new markets.
Business collaboration benefits
A business may work collaboratively to achieve a number of key business benefits:
- Financial benefits - the financial benefits of being part of a network can include an increase in domestic or export sales, submitting a joint tender to win larger contracts or a reduction in costs by sharing resources.
- Human capital - the benefits to staff can include developing employees' skills and abilities, safe-guarding jobs, increasing employment and encouraging staff motivation.
- Physical capital - the benefits of being part of a network can have an impact on the physical capital of the business by supporting the sharing of facilities, equipment and raw materials.
- Intellectual capital - the intellectual capital of a business can benefit through information-sharing, engagement in collaborative research and development, and design activities. They may avail of other companies' complementary strengths, capabilities and also share best practice.
- Develop new processes - joining a network can support a business to develop new or innovative products, processes or services. It may help increase company knowledge of a marketplace to help them identify potential new customers and allow them to compete more effectively.
Business networks may provide member companies with access to resources that would otherwise be beyond the scope of a single business. Individual businesses can face a number of limitations when trying to compete in global markets. This may include scale and expertise. Through collaboration, businesses can often complement each other and specialise in different areas to compete in markets usually beyond their individual reach.