Efic’s 3 steps to building relationships in the export supply chain

11.02.2019 Export Finance Australia

At Efic, we work with a wide range of supply chain businesses and understand that partnering with other businesses in the export supply chain can be a powerful growth strategy. A strong relationship allows you to work together to leverage each other’s strengths and create time and cost efficiencies.

Becoming supply chain partners may also help you grow through the opportunity to acquire more customers, create a more stable income source, and enter new markets or sectors.

Below are three steps to consider when building your export supply chain partnerships.

1. Choose the right partners to work with

For a partnership to work, it needs to be mutually beneficial. You should regularly assess your business relationships to ensure they’re delivering on your expectations. Some questions to consider include:
  • Are your partners reliable and trustworthy? For example, do they pay on time?
  • Do their terms of payment enable you to manage your cashflow – and if not, are you able to renegotiate terms after you’ve built trust with them?
  • Can you leverage this partner to build more supply chain relationships?

2. Identify opportunities for collaboration

Being part of an export supply chain may also provide you with opportunities to collaborate in research and development projects, including piloting new products or expanding into new sectors with a local or overseas partner.

To make the collaborations work, it’s crucial that you and your partner’s objectives are aligned, and you understand the way each other’s organisation and culture works.

If you’re working with a partner who can help you access new international markets, you may also need new certifications or accreditations to comply with the rules that apply in the relevant countries.

3. Growth through joint ventures or acquisition

You should also assess whether you are making the most of your existing relationships, including your supply chain customers, your own suppliers, and overseas contacts. For example:
  • Do you have trustworthy local partners, agents or distributors overseas who can help you if there is a problem with an order or a product?
  • Is there an opportunity to set up a joint venture with a local business to access new markets?
  • Would making an overseas acquisition help you to further expand your network or access new clients or markets?


Seeing Machines

Seeing Machines was founded as part of an association with Australian National University. Today, it has grown to be at the forefront of driver monitoring technology, with more than 200 staff and operations across the world including the US, the UK, South America, Europe and South East Asia.

Their solution monitors driver attention for drowsiness and distraction using face recognition and eye-tracking in order to reduce accidents and help save lives.

The technology was originally used in heavy mining vehicles to monitor shift workers during the Australian resources boom of 2007. At this time, Seeing Machines started exporting, taking advantage of opportunities in overseas markets which were also benefiting from the growth in the mining sector.

This resulted in an exclusive global partnership with Caterpillar in 2015 through a licencing agreement. This enabled Seeing Machines to expand into other transport areas and build a global business.

Working as part of a supply chain, Seeing Machines has built relationships with a range of corporates that sell bundled solutions to automotive companies. Its FOVIO software was launched in September 2017 in the General Motors CT6 Cadillac.

“We are also working to deliver the technology to other automotive brands. The lead times are huge, so we will only see the next vehicles with our driver monitoring technology roll off the production lines from 2021,” said James Palmer, the Chief Financial Officer of Seeing Machines.

There are a range of resources available to help you access the support you need to build your supply chain partnerships. Download our free Supply chains: building international opportunities eBook now for more information.

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