2013 June - Partnerships & the Confidence Connection


We began our search for a more advanced B2B platform in 2008. While an exceptional product was high on our list of criteria, we were also looking for reputation as a global leader in data integrity and service, and equally important for our small firm, the best value for the dollar, for both the hard costs of the product and the soft costs of getting fully up to speed and maintaining it.

In choosing Liaison (http://liaison.com/), we also chose a business partner in whom we could place our full confidence, in fact, a relationship that demands qualities that are even more difficult to quantify than soft costs. Here’s what we think is important:

1.     Honesty

Truth and transparency are essential elements of our personal relationships.  Why shouldn’t these characteristics also be the standard in our business relationships?   

In a recent TEDx talk on the “Honest Economy” Marcus Sheridan talks about a new movement which embraces a transparent approach to business, asserting that honesty in business creates better business relationships.   

When a company shares the recipe for its “secret sauce,” customers have more trust in the company.  When CarMax sells honest cars at an honest price, they develop more devoted customers.  When a fast-food restaurant posts its sandwich calorie counts on the menu, it changes people’s perceptions of how they see the fast-food industry. 

Likewise, we think B2B services should have affordable, simple pricing with no hidden charges, and superior customer service.

To see the short TEDx talk by Marcus: The Honest Economy

2.     Responsiveness

Success in business over the long haul often correlates directly with a company’s ability to respond quickly to emerging opportunities. Our technology partners need to be agile and exhibit heads-up awareness of what’s next – another reason why we choose Liaison for the core of the GraceBlood Managed Services platform.

Just as necessary is a partner company’s responsiveness to day-to-day questions; its communication skills and dependable accessibility; its ability to be creative to meet our & our clients’ unique needs.  The GraceBlood goal for responsiveness to any client inquiry is 15 minutes or less. And you do not need to log it with a call center or pass through voice jail to make that inquiry.   

On last December’s Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey we were pleased to hear that 100% of the respondents ranked GraceBlood’s service as prompt, courteous, professional, and knowledgeable.  That’s a statistic that we want to endure. 

3.     Empathy/Understanding

Our business is not like every other B2B consulting practice and we demand partners who listen and address our concerns.  When we were evaluating platform partners, Liaison asked us lots of questions about our goals and our business so they could be sure to deliver. That earned high marks from us! We continue to collaborate on what’s needed in order to be the best for our clients.  

For major business changes like mergers or transitioning to a new ERP system, it’s important your business partners understand: your business rhythms; how you work with your customers and suppliers; how you manage your warehouse; what special challenges you face.  We have over three decades (scary!) of working with supply chain clients and in many cases, we have “walked in your shoes” performing the same tasks that you do every day. 

4.     Connected

In our demanding 24/7, always juggling four tasks at once world, we need systems that mirror and support our business at its best - flexible, predictable, reliable, fast, and available anytime and anywhere.  GraceBlood selected Liaison products for our managed services platform for these reasons plus value. Our Liaison ECS communications systems run continuously, in the background, without the need for user intervention, exchanging documents securely on behalf of clients with most of the world’s leading supply chain corporations. We work with the same people in the EDI / B2B operations at these companies again and again. We enjoy putting these relationships to work on behalf of our clients and know how to spread the good news that a smooth supply chain is in everybody’s best interest.

Check out our ever-growing list of Trading Partners:  http://graceblood.com/industries



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Cy - Red Eye Music Distribution - Haw River, NC