Landing_BusinessNetworking is a great way to make connections that can pay off in new friendships, new insights or new business. But with a little forethought and preparation, networking also can help you achieve very specific goals, such as—in the case of the St. Louis-based Gabriel Group—saving a $1 million account.

The challenge for the Gabriel Group was that their European fulfillment partner was unwilling to meet a joint customer’s evolving requirement for real-time personal support in European time zones. Their partner’s decision—to maintain productivity by sticking with an automated Web fulfillment approach—put the business at risk.

Gabriel Group Chief Executive Officer Mike Peterson preferred to make the business more secure by meeting the requirements of their multinational, Fortune 1000 client. As a member of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network of leading print providers, he turned to the network’s searchable “Find a Partner” global directory for help. The directory provides capabilities, profiles and contacts for more than 500 Premier Partners from over 40 countries. Peterson soon identified a good candidate to provide the necessary support. After file testing, face-to-face meetings and other due diligence, he struck up a new partnership with Jubels, a fellow Premier Partner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Today they share the $1 million account, each producing about 15 to 30 jobs per day, providing improved personalized customer service that has boosted customer satisfaction and made the account much more secure. Peterson comments. “It’s a dramatic change having someone there to communicate with at 9 a.m. in Zurich versus waiting until 3 pm.”

It wasn’t the first time the Gabriel Group and Jubels have formed successful business partnerships through the Premier Partners program. Jubels often works with half a dozen or more partners at any given time, all sourced through the Premier Partners Network, and recently delivered a second joint-customer to the Jubels-Gabriel Group collaboration.

The Gabriel Group currently generates between five to 10 percent of its annual revenue through partnerships. In addition, the capability to print internationally “gives us a great deal of credibility in the marketplace,” Peterson said, helping them attract clients, whether or not they currently need the service.

In that same networking spirit, Peterson and Jubels Director Jeroen van Druenen, will tell their story to their fellow Premier Partners at the Xerox Premier Partners Congress and Forum in Madrid, Oct. 20-21. The event combines presentations by industry thought-leaders and fellow Premier Partners with networking events that complement the organization’s online resources.

To learn more about the Congress and Forum, click here. Attendees can enrich their experiences by downloading the #XeroxForum app available for both Android and iPhone. To learn more about the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network, apply for membership, or connect with a member through the “Find a Partner” directory, visit www.xeroxpremierpartners.com.

Has industry networking played a role in helping your business move forward? What kind of goals do you set when participating in networking opportunities?