Negotiation Strategies, Planning for Negotiations, Business Negotiation August 19, 2007

Good Suppliers Make Customers Better

In the July, 2007 issue of GLOBAL LOGISTICS & SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGIES magazine, they report on their annual survey of the best suppliers in the transportation industry.

Out of the 1800 nominated suppliers they selected the best 100 and looked for what set them apart from their peers. The most common 10 qualities that users looked for in their vendors were:

Reliability (of course) --- "When a vendor has proved itself to be rock-solid, an enduring partnership is assured."

Repeatable excellence --- Good performance is expected routinely, but nearly a quarter of the finalists had a record of exceeding expectations on many occasions.

Value and cost savings --- This may be a good place to comment that you will not find in these top ten qualities any mention of lowest price, cheapest or lowest bid. The most important financial measure was creating value in increasing sales, production efficiency or other revenue related measurements.

Expertise and knowledge base --- Customers are looking to their suppliers to provide best practices specific to their market, product and industry.

Problem solving ability --- "Many of our nominations were based on companies that had experienced emergencies, but thanks to the supplier's response cost and delays were minimized."

Continuous improvement --- "Especially for technology vendors, companies want to see a plan for product development, so they know their needs will be met in the years ahead." Suppliers that help their customers be "first to market" will always be the least threatened in a competitive marketplace.

Support --- So many manufacturing and transport firms have experienced multiple rounds of downsizing that they now must rely on their vendors to do many of the functions they no longer have manpower to do. Winning suppliers now manage local and remote inventories, provide computer interfaces for the elimination of paperwork and quicker deliveries, assume maintenance functions……….

Positive culture --- The phrase most often mentioned in all of our nominations was "can do". "The greatest accolades were bestowed on those vendors that took on any challenge and found a way to accomplish a goal without complaints or excuses."

Global capabilities

Strong management --- Strong and long-term supplier leadership insures that no matter how many people in the selling functions leave and are replaced, agreements will be honored. In other words, there will be no erosion of commitment no matter who is managing the account.

I think these 10 winning characteristics provide a great checklist for self-evaluation, no matter where you are in the supply chain.

Remember, having all these positive characteristics does not matter much unless your other party is aware of them!

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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