• PartnerShip Receives 2013 Excellence Award

    12/04/2013 — Scott Frederick

    SBIEC Excellence AwardPartnerShip LLC has been selected for the 2013 Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (SBIEC). PartnerShip is a freight management company based in Cleveland, Ohio and is a leading shipping solutions provider to small businesses nationwide.

    Each year the SBIEC conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Small businesses of this caliber enhance the consumer driven stature that is renowned for.

    PartnerShip has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values which is a trait seldom found in its industry. It has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing LTL freight, small package, tradeshow, and specialized shipping programs and services for over 100 association groups and thousands of customers nationwide. Founded in 1989 as subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores, today it has offices in Cleveland, OH, and Irvine, CA.

    As part of the industry research and business surveys, various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the selected companies in each category. This research is part of an exhaustive process that encapsulates a year long immersion in the business climate of the transportation and logistics industry. This recognition by SBIEC marks a significant achievement for PartnerShip as an emerging leader within the transportation and logistics industry.

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  • PartnerShip Competes in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge

    08/15/2013 — Scott Frederick

    2013 Cleveland Corporate challengeThe PartnerShip staff (and friends) once again competed in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge. The 2013 games kicked off June 13 and officially ended August 8. The event is always a great team-building, summer activity that helps build pride and camaraderie among our employees.

    This year's activities included the softball, mini golf, skeeball, kickball, volleyball, basketball, footgolf, cornhole, touch football, bowling, a 10K relay, tug-of-war, obstacle course, and 1 mile fun walk. Despite some scheduling issues that prevented PartnerShip from fully participating in every event, we still managed a 5th place finish out of 16 teams in the DIVISION 1 category (<79 employees). The video captures some of the photographic highlights that were shared at an all-staff meeting today.


    Scott G Frederick

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  • The PartnerShip Book Club

    02/14/2013 — Scott Frederick

    To Sell Is HumanAfter a brief hiatus, the PartnerShip employee "Book Club" started up again a few weeks ago. The PartnerShip Book Club is organized and facilitated by Tina Straw, director of business development and organizational learning for PartnerShip. To kick off the New Year, she selected To Sell is Human by Dan Pink - a book in which she was a part of the limited "release team" before it was made public.

    As Tina put it, "This book will appeal to ALL readers in the company, because as Pink explains, no matter what we do during the day, we're all selling on some level or another." In introducing the book, Tina goes on to say that (as quoted in the book) "It is unlike any book about sales you have read (or ignored) before. That's because selling in all its dimensions—whether pushing Fords on a car lot or pitching ideas in a meeting—has changed more in the last ten years than it did over the previous hundred. Most of what we think we understand about selling is constructed atop a foundation of assumptions that has crumbled."

    We had about twenty employee participants who read the book and then met yesterday to discuss their collective observations. It was a lively discussion and, while the reviews were mixed, everyone agreed that the book contains many interesting examples and plenty of useful anecdotes. In particular, everyone liked chapter 7 where Mr. Pink gave some useful exercises for companies to more successfully develop their "pitch"; such as the one word pitch, the rhyming pitch, the Twitter pitch, and the Pixar pitch. The team discussed how the PartnerShip story could be expressed using these various techniques.

    To end the discussion, the team agreed that there was a little something for just about everyone in To Sell is Human, and that many of Mr. Pink's exercises could be incorporated into our ongoing employee training sessions.

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  • The Future of Membership Dues for Associations

    01/24/2013 — Scott Frederick

    New Member DuesIn the January 2013 issue of Association News magazine, Steven Hacker (CAE and former president of IAEE) asks the question: Should the traditional membership-dues model be altered? He cites a few examples of where the National Education Association has lost 100,000 members since 2010; the American Psychological Association has lost 7.6% of its members since 2010; and the American Medical Association now represents only 17% of physicians in the United States.

    What is going on? Mr. Hacker contends that several powerful forces are converging in a way that is materially impacting non-profit, membership-based organizations:

    • Many membership bases are eroding due to rapidly changing demographics, and a much more diverse population.
    • The Internet has become the "go-to" source of information and news, thereby diminishing the importance of trade associations as a primary source of business intelligence (at least for those unable to adapt and filter news in a way that still creates values for members).
    • Social media is allowing members to build their own communities based on common points of interest using networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

    The article goes on to conclude that "the traditional premise of a value exchange based on payment of membership dues is rapidly evolving in unpredictable ways." Association leaders must pay attention to the issue to ensure they are adjusting their strategies to deliver a cost-benefit equation to members that helps keep them relevant and maintain control of their organization's future.

    Mr. Hacker's contentions are further supported by authors Harrison Coever and Mary Byers, in their provocative and compelling book for associations: Race for Relevance - 5 Radical Changes for Associations. Two of these radical changes include rigorously defining the member market and their needs, and rationalizing programs and services to ensure member programs attract high participation levels and deliver on member expectations.

    So what does this all mean to PartnerShip?

    As a company that manages association shipping programs - and being owned by a non-profit association ourselves - PartnerShip knows the challenges that association leaders face in rationalizing member dues and creating sustainable, value-based member services. Over our 20-year history, we have constantly worked with our association clients to create, implement, manage, and sustain membership-based shipping programs - over 100 of them today.

    What has made our programs so successful is that they combine simplicity, excellent service, and great savings - all while providing services to members that, in most cases, they want and need. This translates into extraordinary value to members, with no cost to the association. The association, in turn, is able to leverage the program to invest in education and other valuable services for members; and the savings that members enjoy can help offset any or all of the dues they must pay to belong to the association.

    It truly is a win, win, win scenario, hence our awesome company name ... PartnerShip!

    Click the button above to request more information on our services (and check the "New Associations Programs" box if you are interested in a shipping program for your association).

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  • 8 Timely Decision-Making Guidelines

    08/22/2012 — Scott Frederick

    Decision Making SkillsAs a 22+ year veteran of the business world, a common challenge I have faced - both individually and collectively - is the dilemma of getting decisions made in a timely manner. That's why the following tips provided in a recent report from Keith Prather at Armada Executive Intelligence really caught my eye.

    Keith works with many big and small organizations on planning and strategy, and he often sees executives spending too much time on too many decisions. He suggests that one strategy for faster decision making is to invest less time on so many decisions. To accomplish this seemingly improbably goal, Keith recommends developing some self-imposed guidelines for identifying decisions where you need to be involved but don't need to spend so much time getting ready to decide what to do. He recommends eight potential guidelines across three categories where you can accelerate your decision making process:

    Decisions with Less Potential Impact

    1. Non-strategic issues - Many business people equate strategic with "long-term" decisions. But in reality, strategic isn't defined by a time horizon. Strategic involves areas having a material impact on the business. If a decision's ultimate outcome and implementation lack real significance or visibility for a business, try to limit how much time you spend on making it.

    2. Current alternatives are adequate to meet expectations — It's popular to suggest one key to success is a willingness to purposely change things that appear to be working. That can be true in areas important to a business and its customers/clients. If it's a process or activity that is required but takes place in the background and could work in a variety of acceptable ways, however, it's best to decide quickly and move on without trying to reinvent the entire operation.

    3. There's plenty of runway to recover from a poor decision — As more processes, services, and even products become digitized, development and recovery costs from something being slightly off the mark are reduced. In these instances, don't overdesign or over-engineer a decision when there is ample opportunity to introduce, test, diagnose, and correct with minimal downsides.

    4. It is likely customers will be indifferent to the options being considered — We've seen too much time wasted at businesses agonizing over service and product enhancements so slight that customers will be hard-pressed to EVER notice the difference. If you have a couple of decent decision options on a product or service feature change that is already low on the list of what's important to customers, it's quick decision time.

    Decisions that can be More Standardized

    5. Decision policies or guidelines already exist — We've seen the human tendency toward boredom used either directly or indirectly as a motivation for overdramatizing what should be routine decisions. When team members have been focused on a narrow area of the organization for too long, even minor decisions can seem like they could change the world. When you have a policy that's working on routine decisions, let the policy work and invest time on bigger issues that really do have some potential for impact.

    6. You have a reasonable track record from which to decide — Even where there's a general track record on the results a decision you're considering may yield, people in the business can be overly invested in arguing for a path that feels comfortable or protects a personal agenda. When you sense this is happening, cut short the debate and go with what your experience suggests is the best course of action.

    7. You don't have resources for prolonged exploration — An important variable for decision making (i.e., time, people availability, investment for attractive decisions, etc.) may be constrained. If that's the case, forego the intellectual attractiveness of giving a decision everything the business has; it's simply not practical. If this is your situation, shift to eliminating options that aren't viable and quickly get to what you CAN decide to do and implement.

    No-Win Decisions

    8. You've got no chance of selling in a preferred alternative — Hope springs eternal, but perhaps you find yourself having already unsuccessfully made your best case to sell an internal or external customer on a decision you think they should make. At some point, when you know the customer isn't going to decide in your favor, but still won't say —No,' it can be in your own best interests to say it yourself. With a firm decline, you can free yourself to move on to fight for a different decision on another day.

    So what do you do to speed decisions in your organization?

    Adopting decision guidelines that make sense for your business and reflect your decision style and pressure points can be a big time saver. The key is to do your thinking upfront (and to continue adding to this list) so you can easily recognize situations where taking more time to get ready to decide is simply not a good investment of resources.

    When it comes to making decisions on transportation - whether determining shipping mode, carrier selection, prepaid or collect, or to ship to a tradeshow using a decorator or 3PL - don't waste too much time when PartnerShip is here to help!

    This post was supported with business intelligence from Armada Executive Intelligence. Visit their website or follow them on Twitter at @ArmadaCorpIntel. And if 8 decision-making guidelines are too many, check out this article on 7 decision-making situations from the folks at Brainzooming.com!

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  • Small Business Leadership Lessons

    04/19/2012 — Scott Frederick

    Steve Jobs BookThere was a great article by Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, in the April 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review, also posted on the HBR.org website. Mr. Walter summarizes some of the key leadership lessons that he observed through his work on the biography. I have bulleted-pointed them here:

    • Focus
    • Simplify
    • Take Responsibility End-to-End
    • When Behind, Leapfrog
    • Put Products Before Profits
    • Don't Be a Slave to Focus Groups
    • Bend Reality
    • Impute
    • Push for Perfection
    • Tolerate Only "A" Players
    • Engage Face-to-Face
    • Know Both the Big Picture and the Details
    • Combine the Humanities with the Sciences
    • Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

    Among these lessons are some great stories and anecdotes from which every small business can learn. Frankly, the author had me at "Focus" - and I absolutely love the white board story - but the rest are good too. Although the PartnerShip business model is radically different from the Apple situation, there are some parallels in terms of the entrepreneurial spirit we have, and the intense focus we place on our LTL Freight, Small Package, and Tradeshow shipping services.

    So - no matter what small business model you are in, if you are looking for some entrepreneurial inspiration, then you should definitely check out this article.

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Awards & Affiliations

Partner Name
Northcoast 99
Northeast Ohio Top Workplaces
Ohio Best Employer