Doing business with existing relations is in general easier than winning new ones. This is equally applicable to strategic customer / supplier relationships as it is for strategic alliance relationships. The switch of relationship can be a real burden, when really strategic the relationship will be embedded in your business and a disentanglement is hard to do. It may bring a lot of negative energy to your business. Better to stay on the positive side and maintain and improve the relationship. However maintaining relationships requires attention and can be hard work.
When and how do you know whether the relationship is in a healthy state and where it needs improvement? You can sit with your partners and ask for their opinion, but how truthfully are the answers you will receive to such a question and what will you do with those answers? A systematic health check combined with a relationship improvement plan will provide a better approach.
Interested what the status of your alliance is? Contact me to discuss the options.