A recent post feature on the HBR Blog Network, The Game Buyers Play with Vendors, compares and contrasts the varying dynamics of procurement relationships. Describing the constant shift of power back and forth between each party, the article explains how these relationships can be turbulent at best. Further exploring, the author provides guidance on how to recognize a seize this power position.
“A vendor can achieve a better balance of power by recognizing that the negotiation with the buyer is a game and by understanding that the customer is often trying to put the supplier into one of two roles.”
While this HBR perspective offers one strategy that may be considered, our business sustainability consulting believes there is another approach that favors a more sustainable supply chain management approach. We believe that businesses positioned to weather any economic storm are those who take the opportunity to manage their relationships strategically. These companies realize that a strong efficient work dynamic is essential to long-term business sustainability, and our professional consulting prescribes to aligned intersts.
- Focus on customer service: Engage customers in feedback to improve product reliability, quality, and delivery time. This will strengthen customer relations and improve internal process resulting in lower operating costs.
- Focus on Sustainable Supply Chain Management: Create strategic alliances with suppliers who share common values and goals to ensure sustainability best practices across your supply base. This will drive efficiency into and cost out of your supply chain.
- Focus on Employee Relations: Take the opportunity to optimize your workforce, create a business sustainability culture, and align employee and company values. This will reduce turnover, which reports indicate significantly improves performance.
Building of a comprehensive business sustainability plan includes incorporating sustainability concepts in the supply chain. Our sustainability consulting and small business resources provide information and tools to clients seeking to develop successful business sustainability strategies that transcend traditional “confrontational” procurement strategies, like cost cutting. Visit with us at Taiga Company to learn more.