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Partnerships in 2020

Tim Waterlow

At Affinia our task is to always be thinking about what the future holds and what the next stage of partnership development will look like. The more knowledge we acquire

 at Affinia the more we realize that the future of commercial partnerships is absolutely linked to the future of business in general. To understand the role that partnerships will play in the future you need to understand the business model that companies will employ and then work out how partnerships

can support those business models.


Organisations that see their partnership channel as separate to their other business areas are missing the point. Partnerships are not a separate channel they are a set of tools and a route to market for their core business. If you are playing at partnerships at the edges or doing some “same as!” then this model is probably already failing and will certainly have done so by 2020.


So what is going to happen in 2020?


The speed of change in business and consumer behavior is ever increasing. The need to be flexible and fleet of foot has never been greater and we see this as a fundamental cornerstone of any business model today or in the future. We need to lose our ego’s and use the expertise that sits in the market to bring speed and innovation to our businesses. Partnerships are one of the most effective ways of achieving this.







In 2020 consumers will no longer except “average” they will want brilliance in every aspect of what you do. It will be no longer possible for a company to be pretty good at a lot of things. They will need to be great at anything they do and that will almost invariably require external partnerships.  This is a major change for some of the largest companies in the FS sector.


We predict that the successful businesses will be the ones who embrace this not as a tactical solution, but as standard business practice. If someone else is already doing what you plan on doing you do not have the time to build internally as the market will have moved before you get there.



Product developers will need to re train as partnership integration experts. Operations people need to become “part time” relationship managers.The average time of a project will be 4/6 weeks from conception to launch. Compromise will be a disciplinary offence! Niche will be core Companies will carry significantly less resource internally Affinia will be hopefully be one of the most important relationship you have as we help you maintain brilliance through strategic partnerships with organisations at the cutting edge of developments

Posted: 27th January 2015

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