Fast-growing and successful organizations benefit greatly from strong business partners. The right partners will provide added flexibility and valuable knowledge and experience. Quintiq has been partners with Ordina for more than 17 years. These two companies know each other well and have many successful collaborative projects to look back on. What is the secret to their successful partnership? And what’s their take on the future of partnerships? Let’s talk with Rob van Egmond, CEO of Quintiq, and Jo Maes, CEO of Ordina.
What do you think makes a partnership successful in general?
Rob: There are several important components to making a partnership successful. First of all, you need to trust each other. It also helps if you both have a common goal. Quintiq and Ordina are both striving to deliver the best supply chain planning and optimization software in the market. For Quintiq, it’s crucial that our partners are committed to hiring, training and retaining the right people. Of course, we at Quintiq need to do our part in ensuring that we provide high-quality software. But the human factor matters just as much. When everything is in place, only then can we provide our customers the added value of our partnership – our partners can provide services such as change management as well as offer specific market knowledge. We can always count on Ordina to deliver people with the right capabilities and experience.
Jo: With the speed of development in the information and communications technology (IT) world, it is almost impossible to excel in every specific field of interest. Therefore we at Ordina have decided – based on our in-depth customer knowledge and a thorough market analysis – that we will focus on five business propositions: ‘High performance teams’, ‘Digital acceleration’, ‘Intelligent data-driven organizations’, ‘Business platforms’ and ‘Security & privacy’. With these propositions, we created our own specific go-to-market strategy. We cannot provide all the building blocks ourselves to implement these propositions. Therefore, partnering with companies that deliver added value to our propositions makes for a strong and winning combination.
Why did Quintiq and Ordina start a partnership?
Rob: Partners enable us to be more flexible and provide in-depth knowledge of a particular industry. They also allow us to offer value-added services to our customers, since Quintiq specializes in supply chain planning and optimization. With the support of our carefully selected and trained partners, we can help our customers better solve their planning puzzles. We provide high level supply chain planning and optimization support. So depending on how many projects we have together, it can take about four to five years to gain enough knowledge of the Quintiq solution to be a successful partner. Ordina has been a partner from the beginning and reached the status of platinum partner, the highest level that Quintiq partners can achieve. This and our past collaborative efforts give us a lot of confidence about working together with Ordina.
Jo: We have partnered many times with Quintiq to solve complex planning puzzles. With Quintiq as a market leader in advanced planning and scheduling (APS) solutions for different industries, we’re able to form a strategic partnership in building intelligent solutions for our customers for many years. With a team of Quintiq business and software experts in areas such as mathematical optimization, operations research, computer science and artificial intelligence, we’re able to help our customers solve their planning challenges effectively. For example, we support our customers in optimizing their workforce planning and rostering, which is growing as a business priority, especially with the shortage of highly-qualified personnel. Ordina believes in the humanization of IT, in which IT should support human behavior. This vision fits perfectly with the philosophy of Quintiq, which is to complement the planning professional’s soft knowledge by providing optimized decision support. Quintiq’s flexibility and ability to customize is what sets it apart.
How are you working together?
Jo: Our collaboration can work in different ways. Quintiq is a leading company worldwide when it comes to addressing planning and scheduling challenges. Ordina focuses on the Benelux market. Sometimes customers approach Quintiq for its specific software and Ordina will join Quintiq as the system integrator. In other situations, Ordina will participate in a specific tender for a planning and scheduling challenge and introduce Quintiq as its partner with a dedicated and scalable solution that Ordina will implement. The most important thing is that we work closely together right from the start. For example, when we did a project together for G4S. We implemented Quintiq Workforce Planner for its 6,000 employees. By providing better insights into G4S’s personnel movements and pay, which lead to more visibility and control, we help G4S slash operational overhead costs and reduce overtime.
Rob: We have been working with Ordina for a very long time. As a partner they have a very capable team and can provide us with specific country and industry knowledge, which is of utmost importance to our clients. Of course, we are always able to have a technical conversation with a prospect, but sometimes it helps to have a partner like Ordina to have a real business conversation.
What are your thoughts on the future of partnerships?
Partnerships are becoming more and more important. Organizations are getting more dependent on the business ecosystem around them. In order to create sustainable innovations in digital world, organizations are stronger together than on their own.
Rob: I believe business ecosystems will become more and more important. We as a company and our customers have great advantages because of Quintiq’s ecosystem. Looking at the future, I think long-term relationships will be key to our business growth. Because of the complexity of our business, we need long-term partners that we can trust and rely on. A partner is only valuable if it has great knowledge and experience with our products. With Ordina, we’ve been working together with the same people for years. We build a close relationship with these people and they know the founders and top management at Quintiq, so we are able to act together really quickly.
Jo: Rapid technological developments are changing the way we live, work and communicate. This puts great pressure on our adaptability but also offers plenty of opportunities. With the help of IT, we can solve a wide spectrum of business and social challenges. Companies, individuals, communities and the government are working and communicating more with one another within an integrated ecosystem. Partnerships are becoming increasingly important in responding efficiently to customers’ requests and generating new business opportunities.