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Beating the Unbeatable Supplier

Start by shifting your perspective on unbeatable suppliers. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a rise in the number of unbeatable suppliers across multiple industries, even those that do not have natural monopolies. They’re also different; they don’t think or operate like other suppliers. Therefore, they require a different strategic approach.

Strengthen the Relationship

Alter Demand

Alter Supply

Play Hardball

Seven Strategy Enablers

To help tilt the balance of power in your favor, each of these four strategies needs to be supported by seven key enablers:

  1. Thoroughly understand the opportunity.
  2. Gather all the facts via quality analysis.
  3. Commit to resolving the challenge at the executive level. It’s critical to view this as a company problem, not just a procurement issue.
  4. Commit to solving the problem through insight-based negotiating strategies.
  5. Commit to clear communication strategies that make a compelling case for change across the organization.
  6. Create dedicated cross-functional teams with accountability.
  7. Develop key performance indicators by which to measure your success.
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