Customer-supplier relationships are the lifeblood of all businesses – without customer-supplier relationships, there can be no business! All parties in a relationship can challenge others or be challenged in order to develop and optimize their relationship. This book is about challenging customer-supplier relationships and the ways in which companies can address those challenges.
Our vantage point is that of the supplier and, as the title indicates, most of the book is focused on customer relationships. However, one company's customer relationship is another company's supplier relationship. Therefore, the book is also highly relevant for managing supplier relationships.
The book covers the central areas and dimensions of customer-supplier relationships, identifies key challenges for each of the two parties, and provides tools for analysis and managerial action. The tools can be easily and effectively included in the company's relationship strategies, portfolio management, and day-to-day relationship management. Only continuous managerial efforts in analysis, understanding, and implementation can secure optimal customer-supplier relationships and, ultimately, contribute to the competitiveness of a business.
Some of the questions addressed in the book are:
• What kind of value is created through the relationship?
• What type of relationship exists between the customer and the supplier?
What are the strategic options for the relationship?
• How well does the business handle the six relationship-management processes?
• Why should we challenge a customer or a supplier?
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