Trend piece: Multinationals and OEMs – a partnership in innovation and industry excellence

Benedict Dickson
Benedict Dickson

30 November 2023

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) play an important role in multinationals efforts to drive innovative solutions across various industries and segments.  Together, multinationals and their OEM partners can deliver solutions that are built on dedicated R&D, support and mutually beneficial relations.

Collaborative efforts between OEMs and multinationals can help mitigate risks associated with international operations. Research by McKinsey & Company discusses how partnerships can enhance risk management by sharing responsibilities and leveraging each other’s strengths.

Furthermore, collaborative efforts between OEMs and multinationals can help alleviate supply chain disruptions and enhance adaptability to market changes.

However, it is also a constantly evolving partnership which requires commitment from multinationals.  “Through tailored partner programmes, manufacturers should provide OEMs with consistent access to personalised business services, tools, training, solutions and products together with comprehensive technical support,” says Benedict Dickson, OEM Business Leader at Schneider Electric.

“At Schneider Electric, our OEM partners a vital role in our continued expansion into new markets, whilst driving innovation and facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships.”

By partnering with the right OEMs, multinationals can benefit from the following:

  • Expanding market reach – OEMs often have established and broad distribution networks and customer relationships in specific markets or industries.
  • Product integration – OEMs incorporate manufacturer products and solutions into their own offerings, such as machinery, control systems, or equipment. This integration benefits both the OEM and the multinational as the product value is enhanced and opportunities are created in expanding industries. 
  • Customisation and specialisation- both multinational and OEMs often require customised or specialised solutions to meet the specific needs of their customers. Here teams can work together to develop tailored products and solutions.
  • Industry-specific, local expertise provide multinationals to gain valuable insight into specific markets, regulatory requirements, and customer preferences.

As mentioned, training should be a vital component in any successful OEM partner programme.  “Organisations should offer consistent updates on new technologies and conduct frequent training session to ensure their OEMs are up to speed with newest development, offerings and innovations,” notes Dickson.

“This training should also extend to as many team members as possible, making it easier for OEMs to readily adopt and utilise new technologies.

“Through our Schneider Electric Alliance Partners Programme, for example, we also incentivise our OEM partners based on the sale performance of a specific product.  If a target is met, they earn credit which can then be used to acquire additional products from our portfolio,” he concludes.

The Schneider Electric Alliance OEM Partner Programme provides OEMs with instant access to the company’s innovative IoT-enabled machine control solutions and products as well as exclusive resources and programmes through the all-in-one mySchneider portal: https://www.se.com/za/en/partners/oem/

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