In the words of telecommunications giant BT, “It’s good to talk.”
And this open dialogue and communication is nowhere more important than in today’s modern business world.
Collaboration is a powerful business tool for companies, regardless of their size or industry.
It typically refers to organisations working together to address problems and achieve goals that seem to be out of reach when working alone.
By combining the effort and expertise of different organisations, all partners in the network can innovate and grow, and increase their competitiveness on many levels.
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 several 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.
Manufacturing Connections is a new programme of networking meetings aimed at encouraging collaboration across the UK’s manufacturing sector.
Launched by Manufacturing Matters Magazine, the events give representatives a unique opportunity to come together to share knowledge, ideas and expertise with like-minded individuals and showcase products and services.
All events are driven by topical conversations and ‘thought leadership.’
James Baker, Assistant Editor of Manufacturing Matters Magazine, explains: “Creating opportunities for anyone involved in manufacturing to forge new working partnerships and share ideas, will provide valuable opportunities to support the sector and, ultimately, help drive market growth.
“We believe manufacturing can be quite an insular and close-knit community, but we’re committed to breaking down barriers and promoting the wealth of knowledge, expertise, and innovation captured within the sector.”
A great example of collaboration, forged through the Manufacturing Connections programme, recently saw members Advanced Adhesives and The Legal Director (TLD) working together.
Newcastle-based Advanced Adhesives is a global supplier of quality adhesive products into sectors including automotive, marine, electronics, aerospace, commercial signage, white goods manufacturing construction, power generation, military, and engineering.
TLD provides ambitious SMEs throughout the country with experienced in-house counsel on a part-time, retained basis.
Advanced Adhesives Managing Director Graham Crozier says: “I met William Blumenthal, a Client Legal Director with TLD, at a Manufacturing Connections networking event and after the initial group chat we had a 1:1 and I said to William at the time that there was something that we could look to talk about.
“I like to work with people with whom I have a good personal relationship. This is key for me and from the word go I had that with William.
“About three years before COVID, we were requested to develop an adhesive with an existing customer we’d been supplying for many years. They asked us to work with them to develop a better material than they currently had.
“We worked with a chemist, who isn’t involved in the industrial marketplace, and between us we developed a product specific for the customer’s requirement with an agreement that we’d one day purchase the formulation and the IP of this product.
“A few years after the development was complete, I had a discussion with the chemist about later buying the formulation for the material and that’s when William became involved. TLD didn’t have a standard ‘off-the-shelf’ agreement we could utilise and so William wrote a tailored agreement for us.”
He adds: “With the amount of money involved, it wasn’t something I’d do without taking legal advice. My usual lawyer was taking a sabbatical for three months and so I spoke to William. I immediately had a positive feeling that we could do some good work together.”
“We needed to get the deal over the line, and managed to do this quickly. I got some excellent advice about what we needed to do, and what we didn’t need to do, and things I didn’t realise were pertinent to this which William guided me on.”Graham Crozier – Director of Advanced Adhesives
The two companies have also worked together to draw up a distributor agreement for Advanced Adhesives with one of their suppliers.
Graham explains: “We’ve always had a gentleman’s agreement with a well-known European adhesive manufacturer for us to be their UK distributor. There’s never been anything more than a simple letter and I was wanting to understand the implications this gave and should we demand a greater agreement. I’ve been talking to them for quite a while now to get something in place.
“William was very helpful in advising us that given the strength of the relationship and history of dealing we have with this supplier, we didn’t need a lengthy and detailed agreement, but just something simple and to the point which we kind of had. I sent William the ‘one-pager’ I had, and he advised on some of the wording without ‘milking the situation’ to get another pay day for himself! All has turned out well with William’s advice on this.”
Like Graham, William believes personal relationships and rapport are extremely important.
William concludes: “Being able to work with someone with whom you establish a great rapport is fantastic, as is having someone who’s clear about the direction in which they want to steer their business. It’s everything you want in a client really.
“I enjoy working with people I get on with as they respect me and respect my advice. Having a client like Graham inspires me to give my best.”
For more information about Advanced Adhesives, contact Graham Crozier on Tel: 0191 272 2982; Email: email@example.com; www.advancedadhesives.co.uk. For more information about TLD, contact William Blumenthal on Tel: 0203 053 8613; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;www.thelegaldirector.co.uk.