#146 Andrew Kim: The Partnership ATM: Always Deposit More than You Withdraw
Andrew Kim, Vice President Of Business Development at ShipHawk, joins Chip today in this episode of Ecosystem Aces. In this episode, Andrew ...
Andrew Kim, Vice President Of Business Development at ShipHawk, joins Chip today in this episode of Ecosystem Aces. In this episode, Andrew underscores the importance of the partner-first, a customer-first mentality for growing organizations.
ShipHawk is a cloud-based, advanced packaging and shipping software that helps businesses effectively control the shipping aspect of their supply chain. With ShipHawk, companies can divert valuable resources from supply chain management to focus on growth and reduce carbon footprint. Multiple supply chain awards, recognition from the press, and recognition from partners collectively confirm Shiphawk’s contribution and influence on the ERP ecosystem.
Andrew finds Shiphawk’s success primarily in the company’s heavy investment into partner ecosystems to expand its business footprint and scale effectively. To provide insight into creating partner successes through a partner-first mentality, he addresses:
- Building strategic relationships with partners
- Partnerships at ShipHawk
- Co-selling, Co-marketing, and Joint Solutions; How Shiphawk finds partnerships
- Creating additional customer value through joint solutions
Building Strategic Relationships with Partners
ShipHawk's go-to-market strategies through ERP ecosystems take various forms, including a direct sales team, a channel of VARs, or ISVs. However, whichever form it may take, Shiphawk’s go-to-market strategies have one thing in common: they focus on creating mutually beneficial relationships with partners.
ShipHawk sees itself as a natural extension of product lines. Being a business handling shipping and warehousing, ShipHawk is naturally at an intersection of different players. For example, there are systems integrators, consulting partners, or ISVs like Shiphawk; EDI, order management, or tax compliance companies; and rates or rate negotiators. ShipHawk helps these partners in the supply chain solve managerial and logistics issues in shipping and fulfillment, but for ShipHawk, partnerships with these companies do not mean division of labor. Instead, it is about finding a bidirectional way to form relationships with partners. In a way, partner success is as vital as Shiphawk’s success.
Andrew describes partner success in the dimensions of depth and breadth. Instead of simply asking partners for leads or opportunities, organizations should look for ways and means that could enable both parties to go deep and leave a footprint on the ecosystem. In terms of breadth, organizations should think broadly and outside the box to reach adjacent players and spaces where they won’t think about going to market. So how does this idea take shape in ShipHawk?
Partnerships at ShipHawk
FedEx is one of Shiphawk’s many valuable partners. For most Shiphawk customers, FedEx is their primary shipping channel. By doing so, ShipHawk is driving an incremental volume toward FedEx that could translate into massive revenue. On the other hand, ShipHawk gains visibility in FedEx’s marketing channels and programs by working with FedEx.
Netsuite is another valuable partner that recognized Shiphawk as their referral partner of the year. Andrew attributes this recognition to Shiphawk’s determination to build their partners’ businesses. ShipHawk constantly asks itself, how do we do the best job as a partner when our partners work with hundreds of different ISVs like ourselves? One solution that ShipHawk found was to co-sell with these partners and bring them joint deals. As a result, ShipHawk brought more sales to Netsuite than any other of Netsuite’s ISVs.
This was only possible through Shiphawk’s efforts across the organization. Everyone in Shiphawk bought into focusing on partner successes. The CEO was determined and bought into partner successes. From a sales perspective, SDRs and MDRs were taught to scope out different opportunities. From an account executive standpoint, the sales team was well trained in core technology for partnerships. Team members were always looking for new ISVs and channels or VARs that could help their partners and add value to the partner ecosystem. Such organizational efforts brought unexpected sales cycles and business opportunities to partners, who, in return, were willing to do the same for ShipHawk. Andrew believes that the partner-first mentality has to be an organization’s imperative where there is dedication and focus to succeed.
In Shiphawk’s partnerships, influence is defined by how much they first focus on others’ interests. Are we servicing our partners? That question is answered by actually tracking and setting KPIs on leads sent to partners. For Andrew and ShipHawk, relationships are like ATMs; you have to deposit more than you withdraw.
Co-selling, Co-marketing, and Joint Solutions; How Shiphawk finds partnerships
ShipHawk finds partnerships and go-to-market strategies from co-selling, co-marketing, and creating joint solutions with partners.
From a co-selling perspective, ShipHawk actively and constantly thinks about creating common customer value. Since Shiphawk mainly goes to market through ERP channels, ShipHawk recognizes that a partnership with ShipHawk is a partner’s new ERP purchase for shipping and fulfillment. Whether with warehouse management, order management, or any other technology, there are many partners to co-sell with that could create an alignment and addition to customer value.
From a co-marketing perspective, ShipHawk found opportunities where its message resonates with its partners’. Pitney Bowes was one example, where Shiphawk realized that their carbon neutral footprint vision was a part of Pitney Bowes’ marketing perspective. When messages aligned like this, ShipHawk found countless opportunities. Jeremy Bodenhamer, Shiphawk’s CEO, wrote a book on the COVID world called Adapt or Die. It later spun into a co-marketing channel of its own, where partners wanted to learn from and contribute to Jeremy’s thoughts and strategies. It created new relationships, values, and opportunities.
From a joint-solutions perspective, ShipHawk finds that where there is a joint story, there could be a joint solution. Once they dove in and started working with adjacent parties and their customers, there may or may not be a joint solution that comes out of the effort. But even if no joint solution comes together, the effort creates opportunities to expand their influence and find new prospective customers.
Andrew shares a story about his experience working at a retail company. The Regional Vice President came in during a chaotic occasion to help each customer one by one, fueling motivation and success in the company culture. He uses his story to underscore the importance of a customer-first mentality. “When you are dealing with customers, under-promise, and over-deliver,” he says. For Andrew and ShipHawk, a partner-first approach is no different.
To know more about Andrew and what his team at ShipHawk is working on, you can follow him on LinkedIn.
Links & Resources
- Learn more about how WorkSpan helps customers accelerate their ecosystem flywheel through Co-selling, Co-innovating, Co-investing, and Co-marketing.
- Subscribe to the Ecosystem Aces Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcast.
- Join the WorkSpan Community to engage with other partner ecosystem leaders on best practices, news, events, jobs, and other tips to advance your career in partnering.
- Find insightful articles on how to lead and get the most out of your partner ecosystem on the WorkSpan blog.
- Download the Best Practices Guide for Ecosystem Business Management
- Download the Ultimate Guide for Partner Incentives and Market Development Funds
- To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about modern partnering, he can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn, or send Chip an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org