When to Use Proactive Scouting

Part two of three where we answer the question, "Which is best: Proactive Scouting or OI Portals?"

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As providers of both Proactive Technology Scouting services and Open Innovation Portals, we often get asked when to use each approach. They serve different purposes and share certain synergies. Here we dig into when Proactive Scouting is the ideal choice.

When to Use Proactive Technology Scouting

yet2 has provided technology scouting and open innovation consulting services for over 20 years. While our services evolve, proactive technology scouting continues to be our core offering. Our global client base leverages proactive scouting for several benefits, with some of the most common being:

Anonymously Scouting to Find Solutions to Confidential, Strategic Needs

yet2 conducts almost all proactive technology scouting projects anonymously on our client’s behalf. yet2 teams scour our eight-channel network and engage potential solution providers without revealing our client’s identity. We conduct scouting anonymously when our clients’ needs are extremely strategic and they do not want to signal that they are exploring a particular technological category or market. yet2’s team of innovation consultants have a unique expertise in scouting and gathering non-confidential information from potential solution providers, while ultra-carefully protecting our clients’ identities. Once our team collects enough information to enable our client move forward, and only with client approval, we introduce our client directly so we can facilitate further discussions and evaluations. In a recent example, yet2 assisted a healthcare company who wanted to enter a specific Central American market with partnerships or acquisitions. Our team engaged potential solution providers anonymously and gathered enough information for the client to feel comfortable having direct discussions with just top 2 most promising candidates reducing exposure, and ensuring confidentiality.

Identifying CMOs and Alternative Suppliers

Another good time to use proactive scouting is when scouting for new Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) or suppliers. Proactive scouting is ideal in these scenarios to maintain anonymity and avoid signaling to existing partners that you are searching for alternatives. In addition, our client’s often look for new CMOs or suppliers in markets where their current network isn’t strong. By working with us, they leverage yet2’s global footprint and expansive network to identify the optimal partners in each region. Other times  a client has to accelerate the typical timeline for identifying and on-boarding new CMOs or suppliers; whether due to disruptions in established supply chains or pressure from management before problems arise. Proactive scouting helps clients find solutions in months, not years.

Scouting for Technologies with “Must-Have” Solution Criteria

Proactive technology scouting is the preferred option when scouting for technologies, ingredients, or materials with certain technical properties or at specific stages of development. For example, yet2 conducts a number of proactive searches on behalf of NASA for new materials and technologies that must have specific properties and performance to withstand the harsh conditions of space. Proactive scouting is ideal for getting the best results with search topics that have critical “must-have” criteria. There is no better method for getting targeted results with up front identification of key information to filter potential candidates.

Accelerating the Path to Deal with Stakeholder Buy-In

While length of engagement varies on client scope and budget, most of yet2’s technology scouting projects run ~3 months with first set of promising leads presented to the client within the first weeks or month. This accelerated timeline to identifying, filtering, and vetting solutions paired with yet2’s methodologies around securing key client stakeholder buy-in greatly accelerates the path to deal. yet2’s Pitch Day services are an excellent example of leveraging proactive scouting. We center the process around a 1-day virtual or in-person event with key decision makers in the room to accelerate due diligence and decision making as much as possible.

Technology scouting is a more proactive approach to searching and identifying potential partners versus OI Portals, and it can take a variety of forms, including topic-specific scouting, Open Innovation Tours/Pitch Days, a continuous flow of strategic opportunities, and more.

Contact us for more advising on what the right approach is for your needs.

Missed last week? Check out the first in this series, “When to Use Open Innovation Portals.”

Want more? Read our third and final piece in this series, “When to Use Both OI Portals & Proactive Scouting


Image Credits: Juned Alam & Reto Scheiwiller from Pixabay

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