TheRide’s Business Engagement Strategy
Case for Business Engagement
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.
Business engagement is an area of concentration to create, manage, and strengthen the
relationships with existing and prospective partners.
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
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
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
Defineand maintain new and existing relationships, including developing new ways to have
ongoing relationships with businesses/organizations
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.
Business Engagement Team
The BE Team creates a company-wide culture, awareness, and involvement in TheRide’s business
engagement efforts, coordinating the necessary resources, people and time.
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
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:
Create Partnership Profile
• Staff member submits to team
• Identified in team meeting
• Identify internal contact person
• Collect information
• Enter into CRM
• Determine whether or not to
• If so, determine best strategy
Aware, Define, Formalize, Act
• Coordinate implementation
• Assess completion and
Core Team: The core team meets regularly. Its membership or meeting attendees can expand as certain topics or
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)
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
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
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.
Identify new or existing opportunities
Qualify against criteria
Select best strategy
Agree and take action
Follow up, review, and acknowledge success
Awareness of opportunity
Define best strategies that meet mutually defined need(s)/goal(s)
Formalize agreement and take action
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
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
Transportation Demand Management
Consultation and Support
Fare/Fare Media Arrangement
Partnership Profiles (CRM)
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;
Criteria for Partnerships:
Existing/ease to start newrelationship
Service options available
Concentration of employees
Financial and non-financial value
Level of commitment
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.