Sunday, August 15, 2004

What, Exactly, is " Partnering" ?

Rebecca Morgan at Inc.com examines:

"Eli Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints reminds us that we are only as strong as our weakest supplier and weakest customer and that it is in our best interest for them to be healthy and vibrant. Additionally, lean manufacturing has taught us the value of working with a limited number of suppliers who can help make us better. And buyers are often now measured on 'lowest total cost of ownership' instead of lowest purchase price. As a result of all this new thinking, we now understand there is a lot more to purchasing than just price and that suppliers are not the enemy. The lesson has been that we need good, strong, and profitable partners so they can help us become good, strong, and profitable companies. We've learned that we're in this thing together."

An especially tough discussion to have with potential clients when your major competitors or related services launch major add campaigns saying "just get a quote, we'll beat anyone." Or "15 minutes could save you $500." One of the approaches I've used is to ask, "are you tied to the process, or are you tied to the results." On the other hand, if you're trying to build your business, how do you not get sucked into the quoting process.

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