Yves BonteCEO DOMO Chemicals
What ‘Partner of Choice’ means to DOMO
In response to the mounting challenges that we face—climate change, inflation, geopolitical disruption—and an increasingly sophisticated and demanding end-user base, we need to find a new approach to the buyer/seller relationship.
This does not mean that we have nothing to learn from the past. The years we have spent honing our ability to deliver products reliably, at a good price, and at consistently high quality are as important as ever. And I am confident that we will continue to matter to our customers, and our customers’ customers, far into the future.
What is changing, however, is that supply chains continue to move from being linear to a matrix structure. There is a new connectedness that links each node of the supply chain to each other node, from top to bottom. The innovation that is needed—as well as the agility necessary for this transformation—means that we as companies must embrace new levels of connectedness and design solutions for the future together. This is the dawning of the age of ‘partnership’ in the truest sense of the word.
There are promising signs of this thinking taking hold. I’m frequently delighted and encouraged by the openness of fellow business leaders who recognise this shift to exchange ideas and to collaborate on industry-wide innovation. I have spent recent weeks and months liaising directly with partners up and down the value chain in a way that businesses of the past would have been reticent to do.
Terms such as ‘innovative’, ‘agile’, ‘creative’, ‘solutions-oriented’, ‘customer-centric’ and ‘sustainable’ may be dismissed as corporate buzzwords with little substance, but they deserve better. These terms are foundational. What would it look like to pursue agility, innovation, or creativity whole-heartedly?
Those embarking on such a journey would quickly recognise that the surest way to achieve such ideals will be working with others across the industry who share them. Particularly in the area of sustainability, we already see how powerful this corporate cross-pollination can be in rising to this considerable challenge. It’s abundantly clear, as you truly set your mind to any of these ideals, that collaboration will supercharge progress—through the addition of more diverse expertise, new perspectives or insights, and a shared sense of pulling together in pursuit of a common purpose.
This is nothing new. We’ve already seen the shift in consumer thinking, where people prefer to align and engage with brands that share their sense of purpose or values. Smart businesses are increasingly thinking the same way.
All very pleasant notions, sure, but how does this manifest, and how can we recognise ‘true partnership’? At DOMO, our motto is “Caring is our formula.” Contained within this is a powerful reminder to ourselves that success is fully reliant on us remembering our commitment to our partners. This means partners all the way up and down the value-chain, as well as those within our own company. This duty of care extends to every department within DOMO—from accounting, to production, to R&D. All of us must keep our partners at the forefront of our minds.
Perhaps the most counterintuitive part about this kind of ‘corporate selflessness’ is that it’s empowering. Empowering because we’ve shown our partners who we are, and that we’re serious about our relationship with them. Empowering because those who share our ideals turn around and exhibit the same care back. We become stronger, more innovative, and more impactful than we ever could have been alone and the whole value chain is strengthened by mutual bonds of proactive, collaborative, genuine investment in one-another.
With K2022 around the corner, we have an extraordinary opportunity to connect once more with the entirety of those in our value chains. This comes with the opportunity to exchange ideas, to reaffirm friendships and, above all, to remind partners that, after a rough and challenging few years, we still care. We must seize this occasion, because the greatest opportunity for all of us, as we face the challenges ahead, is to succeed together.