Relationship management

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A short workshop on how to manage business relationships and get them working for you.

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  • Decision Maker These are the people that initiate the process of awarding business and are closely aligned with the hands on activities involved with executing day to day business between the parties. They would be seen within their own organisation as the people who are most familiar with the status of the relationship between the parties. Examples of roles would include Buyer/Purchasing Officer or Materials Planner. Approver While not involved in day to day activities the Approver role is critical to success because they have the ability to approve or block the recommendations received from the Decision Maker. It is likely they will be taking a strategic view of the relationship rather than a detailed or personal view. They are almost certainly going to be in the direct reporting line from the Decision Maker and can thus have a major influence on the relationship. Roles could include Purchasing or Materials manager or possible a senior Operations role. InfluencerThese are people not in the direct line as far as allocating new business or setting the agenda on relationships. They are however influential or persuasive in modifying or enhancing the relationship (and therefore the allocation of business). This can work in a firms favour when they are acting in a positive way but can also detract from a firms efforts when there is a negative influence. On occasions if the main relationship owners (Decision Makers, Approvers) are acting against a firm then the Influencers can act as a brake. Roles include Engineering Managers, Quality Managers and R&D staff. Gate Keepers Gate Keepers have very little role in the direct business activities between the parties but they can hinder the relationship by preventing access to people or information that can assist the firm win business or improve the relationship. Roles can include Receptionist, Personal Assistant, IT personnel and other administrative staff.
  • Relationship management

    1. 1. Business Relationship Management
    2. 2. Business Relationship Management Supply Chain Relationships: “Supply Chain Management by definition is about the management of relationships across complex networks of companies that whilst legally independent are in reality interdependent”. Prof Martin Christopher Cranfield University
    3. 3. Business Relationship Management Supply Chain Relationship Management  Supply Chain is clearly about Relationships across organisational boundaries  Supply Chain Relationships are built up of a number of components: – Trust – Communication – Commitment Cooperation 3 Behaviour –C Coordination – Openness Collaboration  Relationships can be measured see www.sccindex.com
    4. 4. Business Relationship Management Trust Trust in a business context is made up of two elements:  Intent – Do I believe that they intend to do what they say they will do?  Competence – Do I believe they are capable of doing what they say they will do? Trust is also impacted on by “Openness” and “Commitment”
    5. 5. Business Relationship Management Communication: • There is no such thing as too much communication. • However you need to be talking to the right people. Logistics Logistics I.T. I.T. Old Model Finance Finance Manufacturing Purchasing Sales Quality Control Manufacturing Quality Control Marketing Collaborative Model Marketing Logistics Logistics I.T. I.T. Purchasing Sales Finance Finance Manufacturing Manufacturing Quality Control Quality Control Marketing Marketing
    6. 6. Business Relationship Management Biggest Challenge in Business Relationships is – “Who Are They?” Remember its P2P not B2B
    7. 7. Business Relationship Management Touchpoint Mapping • Is a process for understanding how well you interact with your supply chain partners • Are the contacts at the right level? (Who talks to the MD?) • Are there missing touchpoints? (We don’t know anyone in Engineering!) • Allows you to set a communication plan for keeping the contact live. Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title Name Title
    8. 8. Business Relationship Management Customer Touchpoint Categories  Decision Maker –  Approver –  These are the people that initiate the process of awarding business and are closely aligned with the hands on activities involved with executing day to day business between the parties.. While not involved in day to day activities the Approver role is critical to success because they have the ability to approve or block the recommendations received from the Decision Maker. Influencer – These are people not in the direct line as far as allocating new business or setting the agenda on relationships. They are however influential or persuasive in modifying or enhancing the relationship  Gate Keepers – Gate Keepers have very little role in the direct business activities between the parties but they can hinder the relationship by preventing access to people or information that can assist the firm win business or improve the relationship.
    9. 9. Business Relationship Management Touchpoint Categories Initiates Action Passes or Blocks Action Direct Involvement in Business Allocation Decision Maker Approver Purchasing Manager Finance Manager Indirect Involvement in Business Allocation Influencers Gate Keeper Engineering Manager Receptionist Exercise: • For your biggest client nominate the contacts you know and allocate them into the above matrix • Discuss any gaps with your partner
    10. 10. Business Relationship Management “Relationships with business partners are important but I just don’t have time to do it properly!”
    11. 11. Business Relationship Management Spreading The Load in Relationship Management Logistics Logistics I.T. I.T. Purchasing Sales Finance Finance Manufacturing Manufacturing Quality Control Quality Control Marketing Marketing There are perhaps unrecognised opportunities to enlist others (formally) in managing relationships
    12. 12. Business Relationship Management Supplier Touchpoint Categories  Contactors – Are the main people involved in service delivery and are the main “custodians” of the relationship. They need to be very conscious of the impact they have on the company’s image with their trading partner and be clear on the “marketing message” they are putting over.  Modifiers –  Influencers –  These people can have a major influence on the company’s image with customers. Not so much in forming the image but either amplifying it or detracting from it. These people while not in day to day contact are a key part of the service delivery process. As such they may be contacted by the customer when things have gone amiss. How they respond can have a very significant impact and can “make or break” the relationship. Isolates – While Isolates have irregular contact and no role in service delivery they should not see themselves as being uninvolved in the process of Relationship Management.
    13. 13. Business Relationship Management Supplier Touchpoint Categories Involved In Service Delivery Not Involved In Service Delivery Contactors Irregular Contact Customer Service/Order Entry Accounts Receivable Clerk Influencers Regular Contact Modifiers Isolates Production Managerr Financial Accountant Exercise: • For your business nominate internal staff that could be in contact with customers & allocate them into the matrix • Discuss with your partner are they trained & supported to undertake these contacts? Do they understand their role?
    14. 14. Business Relationship Management Three Forms of Supply Chain Collaboration 1. Vertical (Chain) External (Suppliers) External Internal External (Complementary Companies) (Own Company) (Competitors) 3. Network (Vertical & Horizontal) 2. Horizontal External (Customers) • All forms are possible (even competitors) • Practically Internal Collaboration can be the most difficult
    15. 15. Business Relationship Management Timing, discipline & “follow up” are critical to a good Relationship Contact Plan Create Meetings Annual Calender Spread meetings out to avoid “clumping” “ ” Relationship Owner Creates Meeting Plan Meeting Plan includes Business Reason for meeting, arranging timing and attendees. Key point is to create follow on reason for next meeting (possibly “ “report back on project of some sort) Relationship Owner Briefs EE attendees attendees Meeting attendees from should be aware of all current issues, business awards and project status. If a response is required it should be agreed in principle who should respond Meeting Held Meeting minutes should be taken. Attendees should take opportunity to expand understanding of the relationship, motivations and opportunities. The data cards for each contact can be updated appropriately Minutes Published & feedback provided Objective is to maintain engagement in between meetings. Commitments made should be honoured. If possible the agreed time/date for the follow up meeting should be noted
    16. 16. Business Relationship Management Contact Plan Name Role Grid Position Contact Owner Relationship Contact Frequency Business Reason Plan Action

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