Building Strategic Relationships

The historical relationship between a customer and its suppliers has often been one of adversaries attempting to take advantage of one another if given the opportunity. The inherent philosophy of that approach is that the relationship amounts to a zero sum game where if one party wins, the other party loses. Breaking away from that practice requires integrity, trust, commitment to the client’s success, and performance that matches up to the commitment. These are some of the major traits of a strategic relationship that can greatly enhance the opportunities for success for both parties.

Acme Industries has been fortunate to have had prospects and customers that allowed for these strategic relationships to be formed. There have been several situations that involved a customer choosing Acme as its primary manufacturing partner from the time of the company’s formation, which is described in this case study. Under the right circumstances, there can be fertile ground for collaborating with a customer on product or process development and innovation (read more here). Many customers have strong incentives to grow their businesses but can be limited by available resources. Collaboration between a customer and its supplier can remove those barriers (read more here). Another area where almost all customers are receptive to the potential benefits of a strategic relationship is where the outcome results in a supplier sharing a cost reduction with the customer as described in one case study.

All of the situations described above illustrate the power of strategic relationships to produce significant results for both the customer and the supplier. In these cases, Acme Industries’ Beyond Precision Value Promise led to satisfying win-win collaboration between Acme and its customer.

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