When we create alliances, we generally do so with the intention of building a long-term relationship with our alliance partner, but remember, alliances don’t last forever. Circumstances will change and those changes might make the alliance obsolete, as the alliance no longer serves the original purpose for which it was created. In other cases, we see that circumstantial changes require the alliance to change, as the old alliance design is no longer the optimal design to create synergy between the partners.
Recently, two large alliances announced their respective exit and transformation.
Maersk and MSC
Maersk and MSC, two container shipping giants, announced that from the start of 2025, they will discontinue their 2M alliance. This alliance was formed in 2015 “with the aim of ensuring competitive and cost-efficient operations on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades”. The initial agreement was set for a period of 10 years, with a 2 year notice period of termination. Changes in strategies, markets and customer demand resulted in the two parties involved, jointly deciding to discontinue the alliance in 2025, hence the two-year notice period.
Renault and Nissan
After what seems from the outside a long period of uncertainty, Renault and Nissan announced that they have transformed and re-energised their alliance. The renewal of this long-standing alliance (in which the parties have collaborated since 1999), aims for a realigned focus that better fits today’s automotive markets. At the same time, they have rebalanced the contractual structure of the alliance so they are now more equal partners.
The evaluation stage of the alliance lifecycle is a stage that helps to assess alliances, and to decide if there’s a need to transform or exit the alliance in question. If the evaluation stage shows need to change or exit the alliance, there are useful guidelines that help. Even if a change comes about unexpectedly perhaps to one of the partners, these types of guidelines and tools will always be useful.
As an alliance professional, doubtless you would like to avoid unexpected changes as much as possible. An Alliance Health Check can help you identify areas where your alliance could be improved, allowing both partners to make changes to increase the alliance’s success. Furthermore, an Alliance Health Check can provide an opportunity for open and honest communication between partners, helping to address any misunderstandings or conflicts that may have arisen.
Alliances don’t last forever, but an Alliance Health Check helps them last longer
Even though alliances don’t last forever, performing an Alliance Health Check will provide you with the information and any points needing attention to help your alliance last longer and be as successful as possible. By openly and honestly evaluating the alliance, both partners can (re) build trust and confidence in each other, which can lead to a stronger, more successful alliance in the future.
Have you already planned your Alliance Health Checks for this year? Feel free to schedule a call with me to discuss the benefits of performing an Alliance Health Check for your alliances.