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*SAMPLE* Public Transit - Business Engagement Strategy
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*SAMPLE* Public Transit - Business Engagement Strategy

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by Justin Fenwick

by Justin Fenwick

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  • 1. TheRide’s Business Engagement Strategy Case for Business Engagement Purpose: To create more value driven connections in the community, specifically to businesses and organizations in the greater Ann Arbor area, as a means to cultivate partnership support. What: Business engagement is an area of concentration to create, manage, and strengthen the relationships with existing and prospective partners. Why: Ongoing oversight of relationships with partner businesses and organizations allows TheRide to treat business engagement as a coordinated effort. This effort promotes staff engagement in identifying and pursuing new opportunities and building on current collaborative efforts. This stakeholder group and their employees, students, clients and/or customers are key audiences served on a daily basis.Effective and strategically aligned engagement can: Better utilize resources by taking a critical look at relationships, the required commitment and resulting value Contribute to a sense of shared ownership, trust and responsibility among stakeholders Enable better management of risk and reputation Allow for the pooling of resources Inform, educate, and influence decision making Who: Business Engagement Team –Prioritizes and carries out TheRide’s engagement activities. The BE Team works to preserve and grow the asset that is TheRide’s relationship network as established through community outreach, partnership programs, our services, and those generated by promoting ourselves as an integral part of the community. Business Transportation Coordinator –Provides the ongoing coordination and strategy implementation of TheRide’s business engagement and the BE Team. Serves in a role similar to an account manager by educating and promoting the use ofTheRide’s services by cultivating, formalizing, and enhancing key relationships. Objectives: Awarenessand increased use of services and solutions by organizations and their respective employee/student/customer/client/stakeholder Defineand maintain new and existing relationships, including developing new ways to have ongoing relationships with businesses/organizations Goal: Formalizenew and maintain existing collaborative partnerships with businesses and organizationsthat generatevarying levels of mutual value with agreements that outline actions, commitments, and goals of the agreed upon partnership.
  • 2. Business Engagement Team Purpose: The BE Team creates a company-wide culture, awareness, and involvement in TheRide’s business engagement efforts, coordinating the necessary resources, people and time. Function: Coordinate partnerships, marketing& communications, relationship information& management, and customer service for business engagement. Looks for opportunities to consolidate efforts and/or increase connections between partners. Think Strategically -Sets the strategy, goals and objectives of the entire business engagement effort Analyze & Plan -Prioritize and pre-qualify opportunities Strengthen Engagement Capacities -Evaluates new and existing relationships in a way that continuously improves TheRide’s ability to engage Design the Process - Selects strategies and goals for new and existing partnerships Engage and Act -Identifies resources to carryout tasks and completes them Review, Report, and Recognize - Assesses the results of engagement efforts. Ensures proper follow up with stakeholders and internal contributors. Process for Opportunities: Identify Relationship/ Opportunity Create Partnership Profile • Existing • Staff member submits to team • Identified in team meeting • Identify internal contact person • Collect information • Enter into CRM Assess Opportunity • Determine whether or not to proceed • If so, determine best strategy Aware, Define, Formalize, Act • Coordinate implementation • Assess completion and evaluate Core Team: The core team meets regularly. Its membership or meeting attendees can expand as certain topics or relationships warrant. Justin Fenwick: Business Engagement Coordinator Bill DeGroot: Assistant BE Coordinator Michael Ford: Team Member Sarah Pressprich: Team Member Mary Stasiak: Team Member Nancy Shore: Team Member Meetings: Weekly meetings provide a regular touch point for implementing the engagement process. Meetings may follow different standard agenda formats: Overall Strategy – Review strategic alignment with TheRide and prioritize efforts Standard – Review ongoing efforts, determine next steps, and move projects forward. Pitch/Proposal – Review a proposed strategy and the approach/ask to the stakeholder(s)
  • 3. Engagement Process Purpose: Strengthen our network of business relationships by engaging in an ongoing process that cultivates relationships to increase strategic alignment, value, and commitment.The engagement process is about puttingpieces that already exist together in the right way. The process helps answer the following questions: Why engage? What to engage about? Who to engage with? Cultivation:The engagement process is about cultivating and improving ongoing and new relationships in a responsible manner that considers the resources requiredmaintain it. The care and feeding of stakeholders is required to succeed in increasing alignment, value, and commitment. It will beimportant to focus on getting to know and understand all parties as part of any execution of the engagement process. This takes time. Thinking towards strategic ends, a plan is created, proper preparations arecompleted. This plan then informs engagement and responsible follow-up and evaluation, and finally, the review and report provide insight to new or changed strategy. Advertises on bus Participates in Adopt-aStop Joins business advisory group Dialogue with stakeholders is designedto uncover needs, concerns, wants,common relationships, and modes of functioning. All help determine inclusive action steps and responsible follow-up and evaluation measures designed to improve upon the relationship’s value proposition to both parties. Our Process: Identify new or existing opportunities Qualify against criteria Select best strategy Agree and take action Follow up, review, and acknowledge success Partner Process: Awareness of opportunity Define best strategies that meet mutually defined need(s)/goal(s) Formalize agreement and take action
  • 4. TheRide’sStrategies Purpose: To have a defined outcome for an individual partner or a group of partners. TheRide’s strategies and their successful execution serve as milestones in developing customer relationships and improving their value/commitment/strategic proposition. TheRide’s relationship network should mimic the figure below with a majority of partners at a lower level commitment, value, and strategic alignment. Low commitment strategies should be used to cast a wider net and develop a base for new higher commitment, value, and strategic alignment partnerships of which there will be much fewer. Commitment: Evaluate mutual resource use including people, time and frequency, financial, logistical, and social/brand/political risk/reward Value: Evaluate financial, non-financial, and in-kind value generated from partnership Strategic Alignment: Coordinating efforts to ensure action that is responsive, material, and holistic Strategies: The following are strategy categories. Individual strategies will be customized to varying levels of commitment, value, and strategic alignment within the available constraints and suitable engagement level for a partner. Transportation Demand Management Consultation and Support Amenities Feedback/input Events Providing Information Promotion o Awareness o Image o Service Fare/Fare Media Arrangement Service Partnership Groups/Membership Low Med High
  • 5. Partnership Profiles (CRM) Purpose: A standard set of information and criteria to inform the BE Team’s decision making. Partnership exploration will turn up more information than is necessary andmore opportunities than it would be possible for TheRide to act on. Profiling partners assists in deciding where to best allocate resources and provides a system for retaining and reviewing partner information. This will likely exist as part of our Batchbook CRM system. Basic Info: Org/Business Name; Business Category; Location; Way-in; Business/Decision Cycle; Problem to Solve; Current Strategy/Solution Criteria for Partnerships: Existing/ease to start newrelationship Service options available Concentration of employees Company size/influence Financial and non-financial value Level of commitment Partner Profile Partner Profile Partner Profile Partner Profile • Criteria • Criteria • Criteria • Criteria • Criteria • Criteria • Criteria • Criteria Some partnerships will not be pursued, others will be successful on their own, and often there will be opportunities to combine or coordinate efforts. The partner profiles will provide the information to assess which direction is the most advantageous one for TheRide.