A 30-year Evolution to a Business Model for Perpetual Disruption
Remember the old line: “When I was in high school, I did not know how to spell engineer, and now I are one”?
Well, in the mid-1990s, I read business strategist James Moore’s book The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems. Moore defined ecosystem as “a community of living and nonliving things that interact with each other and their environment.” He analogized biological ecosystems to the business world to produce the term “business ecosystem.”
Back then, I never had heard of the word ecosystem, much less business ecosystem. Now I (well, Tompkins Ventures, to be more precise) are one.
Natural and Business Ecosystems Are All About Interconnectedness
Before Moore’s work, corporate types did not use the word ecosystem. He took me into the world of natural ecosystems – swamps, forests, oceans, deserts, etc.
I easily understand how the components of a swamp interconnect with one another, how those connected components are critical to a swamp’s health. I was interested in applying the interconnectivity of ecosystems to business strategy and health.
Supply Chain Ecosystems Also Rely on Interconnectivity
A few years before Moore’s seminal work, the business world also began using the term “supply chain.” The phrase described the flow of information, products and money from raw materials through manufacturing, sales and distribution, all the way to a product’s end user.
I reflected on the interconnectivity of nature’s ecosystems. I began to understand how ecosystems apply to my area of expertise: supply chains.
Nature’s ecosystems depend on interconnectivity. Likewise, successful supply chains depend upon the interconnectivity, collaboration, orchestration and relationships between the partners of an end-to-end supply chain ecosystem.
Perpetual Business Disruption Requires A New Ecosystem
In 2020, COVID-19 was destroying supply chains. I discovered that no matter how hard we tried and how far we looked, for business, there was no new normal. The new normal was disruption.
Perpetual disruption requires a new model to deliver solutions and innovations quickly and inexpensively to companies. So, after over 40 years in consulting, I left consulting to pursue a new type of business ecosystem.
This ecosystem needed to pair expanded capabilities with low overhead to help organizations achieve digital transformation, improved customer satisfaction and profitable growth.
The Bridge To Solve Any Business Quandary
So, I started a new business – Tompkins Ventures.
I thought this business was creating an integrated network of networks. But in reality, Tompkins Ventures is an ecosystem of problems/solutions and obsolescence/innovation.
No matter the problem, the ecosystem can find a solution. No matter what process, product or system becomes obsolete, the ecosystem can find an innovation to move forward.
This solution/innovation machine can address a virtually unlimited range of challenges.
The Tompkins Ventures global business ecosystem consists of a network of Business Partners who identify organizations with opportunities, problems or obsolete systems. The Tompkins Ventures ecosystem includes the bridge between those issues and the much-needed solutions or innovations.
Partners Work as Extensions of Your Team
Business Partners and the bridge are only parts of the Tompkins Ventures ecosystem. Global Commercial Partners, Capital Partners and Consulting Partners provide the innovations and solutions.
Our Commercial Partners have teams with decades of providing solutions and innovations across every business sector.
Our Capital Partners provide more than finance and investment – they bring deep experience to function as your advocate. They know not only what can propel your company forward but what can hold it back.
Likewise, our Consulting Partners are well-seasoned executives with expertise in everything a business needs to succeed: Capital, Facilities, Leadership, Logistics, Supply Chain.
Our partners don’t function as transactional agents. Instead, they act as an extension of your team. Tompkins Ventures truly is an ecosystem to the Nth power. That is the path to competitive advantage and profitable growth.
The Right Fit Saves You Buckets of Time and Agony
The magic of Tompkins Ventures is what CEO Mike Royster calls “the right fit.”
A web search can find 3PLs, transportation providers, investment bankers, consultants, strategists, software providers, WMS and TMS solutions – any “solution” you need. But you can spend a lot of time and suffer a lot of agony figuring out which direction to take and which “solutions” work for your unique situation.
So why would you need Tompkins Ventures? Well, every software provider or 3PL has their own specialties. They might be great at A, B and C – but Tompkins Ventures knows you need a 3PL that provides X, Y and Z instead.
This saves your executive team a colossal amount of time and energy. They could have spent weeks or months vetting potential providers.
For example, take a sales team whose inventory only consists of 5-gallon buckets. If you have a 5-gallon problem, that’s perfect, if you have a 10-gallon problem, they might cajole you into buying two 5-gallon buckets. If you have a 1-gallon problem, they’ll say, “well, 5 gallons covers your problem and more.
That’s not the right fit. The right fit is a 1-gallon bucket, a 5-gallon bucket, a 10-gallon bucket – the right bucket to drive your company forward.
‘Go Ahead, Make My Day’
Oh my, my. It has been almost 4 years since I started Tompkins Ventures. Now we realize that just like swamps, business strategies and supply chains, we now have a matchmaking ecosystem. This ecosystem has the interconnectivity, collaboration, orchestration, partnering and relationships that drive success.
So, 30 years ago I did not know how to spell ecosystem. Now, at Tompkins Ventures, I are one.
Have a problem or obsolete operation? Contact me. For no charge, Tompkins Ventures can be your bridge to an innovation or solution provider. Feel free to crib from Detective Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Sudden Impact and say, “Go ahead, make my day.”
Tompkins Ventures will respond with the right fit for your enterprise, not gunplay.
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Jim Tompkins, Chairman of Tompkins Ventures, is an international authority on designing and implementing end-to-end supply chains. Over five decades, he has designed countless industrial facilities and supply chain solutions, enhancing the growth of numerous companies. He previously built Tompkins International from a backyard startup into an international consulting and implementation firm. Jim earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.