Trusting partnerships in turbulent times

Slavica Smith 5th June 2020 0 Comments


As the dust settles and commercial life slowly starts to return we are all aware that the new normal is an unknown. After the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves with no precedent on which to base forecasts and predictions.

In the recovery process where short term survival overrules long term strategy, I believe there will be many potential routes towards the future but unfortunately very few viable destinations.

From my view point (service provider), I believe that collaborations and joint ventures i.e. shared knowledge / resource / wealth / experience and risk will be the way forwards. Perhaps the greatest risk within our retail industry would be the widening of the gap between suppliers, developers, landlord and tenant thus creating more conflict than trust. If we can come away with one lesson from this pandemic perhaps it will be to change our perception of true values. I understand we all need to succeed but quite often we do so at the expense of others. In meetings, I like to let the audience influence the direction and often this filters back to mission statements and how individuals actually contribute to a business (very relevant to our asset management systems which can collect, compile and report on KPI’s). At that stage I make a simple statement:


Defining stakeholder values and deciding on the deliverables relate to strategy and tactics. I put together a simplified example of why trust, relationships and shared knowledge are so important in the following scenario:

The Investor in a shopping centre needs to provide the location, design and construction of quality retail space, this should result in effective leasing to successful brands, they must then – through effective marketing and other strategies – present a sales opportunity to the retailer. That is as far as he can go in the traditional structure. Now, the retailers task is to convert that sales opportunity into stakeholder value, therefore removing control of performance and delivery from the task owner.


Without a strong working relationship and WIN-WIN structure this becomes a large red flag in the delivery mechanism of the mission. As always, there are no specific answers but the time has come to cast aside our traditional barriers and processes and create some collaborative groups to disrupt (i hate the term but it fits here), expand and develop the whole trading relationship and associated process. To do this we must build trusting partnerships and harness the knowledge and experience that exists in our industry.

We can only plan, analyse and wait to see what the future holds, there are no long term predictive algorithms available only experience, knowledge and some educated guesswork.

About Reveal Systems

Reveal Systems is an expert in footfall intelligence, providing auditable data analysis and interpretation based on the movements of persons and vehicles. With over 20 years’ experience and a team of world class specialists in system design and data analysis, our solutions are powered by our exclusive RevealAsset software, ensuring businesses access and understand the data required to make informed decisions and drive results.


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AboutSlavica Smith

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