Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Can working with a competitor be good for business?

This is a question that the Postal Service has answered with an affirmative yes. FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service have been competitors for many years. This spirited relationship amongst business rivals could have been summarized as a zero-sum game, where the gain of one business leads to a loss for another. Now, corporations are looking for opportunities to carve out as many costs from their operation as possible while increasing the size of their business offerings. This means establishing relationships that at one point in time may have been considered unthinkable.

The UPS Store, for example, helps its small business customers create and print marketing material. To reach target neighborhoods for distribution, Every Door Direct Mail from the Postal Service is employed to maximize effectiveness of the marketing campaign for as little cost as possible.

FedEx has a program called SmartPost that ships low-weight packages to residential customers using the Postal Service for final delivery. This allows the company to use the size of the Postal Service distribution network to create low-cost delivery opportunities for its customers.

Business relationships amongst rivals can make sense when challenging times demand creative solutions. To what extent such relationships can go is anybody’s guess, but for now, it seems that the future of mutually beneficial associations is more the trend than the exception.

Do you think cooperative relationships amongst business rivals are a good idea? Comment here.


Anonymous said...

I think the USPS could get with Microsoft to offer file transfer and storage options on the USPS network. Going digital would be an awesome option to expand our business and keep us around for a few more years.

Anonymous said...

I think we could save a whole lot of money if UPS and Fedex would quit tearing up our bags that they bring the parcels in.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could charge UPS and Fedex for the bags they destroy...