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SPOTLIGHT: Practical Partnerships – “Economies of Scale”

By Micah Margolis | December 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

Financial ServicesFinancial Services Client Experience and Journey TransformationFinancial Services Digital Business Strategy and InnovationFinancial Services Go-To-Market Strategy and ExecutionFinancial Services Operational Excellence and Cost OptimizationFinancial Services Talent Management, Leadership and CultureFinancial Services Technology Modernization and Transformation

In my previous blog on “self-personalization,” I discussed one way that partnerships were being used across the industry.  Here, I will shed light on another manifestation of practical partnerships that is particularly relevant for those battling constrained resources: generating economies of scale through the use of shared services.

As market conditions are currently driving a halt in investment decisions and seem likely to drive cost-optimization initiatives in the near future, it is of paramount importance that organizations rethink how they approach pursuing new or augmented capabilities, particularly regarding back-office and digital technologies.  The most obvious way that this is showing up right now can be seen in Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs), but there is nothing really stopping larger organizations from pursuing this as well.

The general idea is that those organizations with greater restrictions on resources can benefit by entering into a sort of shared services barter economy with similarly challenged organizations.  This capability sharing can bypass traditional resource constraints and expand the library of capabilities available to your organization.  In a dream world, this would be one big bucket of capabilities available for any member of a designated group.  Imagine saying, “We created this new D&A capability to drive better CX, so we now have access to whatever capabilities these other 15 organizations stood up.”

Most CUSOs, at least for the time being, tend to specialize in different areas.  For example, those looking for commercial lending and business services support may want to look to Michigan Business Connection (MBC) while those looking to drive member engagement may want to consider CO-OP Financial Services.  That being said, nothing really stops you from zooming out a bit and sharing capabilities related to a multitude of initiatives.  Perhaps, one day, CUSOs (or similar organizations) may even share capabilities with one another!

One additional benefit of this approach is that it can be easier to attract investment from fintechs and VCs while also giving you a stronger voice in how they consider future developments. Whatever your situation, tapping into these libraries of capabilities, even if you are not resource-constrained, is a great way to generate scale at speed without building things in-house.

If you would like to discuss how partnerships are manifesting, emerging business models, or how to evaluate partnerships, let us know!  We would love to set you up for a chat with one of our experts!

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