5. Strategic Sourcing

Here we are at a Coca-Cola factory. McDonald’s is a huge customer, so the whole factory is paying a lot of attention to any possible demands that McDonald’s might have. Similarly for McDonald’s, Coke is a big supplier. So anything that they can do to make the relationship better, they are going to work on.
There are high benefits, because of the huge part of each other’s business that they are, but also high risks. Because if there was a disruption, both companies would be severely damaged. The strategic supplier category is of the highest importance for an organization. Those are the suppliers that can really make or break your business. So you have to pay special attention on how you manage those relationships. You can not really go in and try to reduce costs or get them to come down in price, because they will find ways to get back at you. So you have to truly establish long-term relationships that are in the best interest of both sides. And you have to focus on win-win situations rather than competitive situations, because the relationship is so important. And finally, you have to create value together. So the idea is that you come up with innovation through this partnership. So how do you create a win-win relationship? Well, you have to take each other’s side and look at this supplier and buyer relationship from the other perspective. What is important to the other side, and what is important to me? And you have to find a way to achieve both of these objectives at the same time.
So for example, if in my best interest would be to reduce my cost, and obviously my supplier would like to make more money, how do I solve that dilemma? Well, you could set it up this way. You could say I’m going to pay less per item, but I’m going to give you additional volume. So I’m going to buy more from you in exchange for a lower price. And possibly I could take that volume from other suppliers away and give it to this preferred supplier. So they get more volume, which is in their interest, and I get a lower per unit cost, which is in my interest. Nevertheless, you can not go into these types of discussions with strategic suppliers saying that if this doesn’t happen, I am going to walk away. Strategic supply relationships are meant to be long-term. Co-creation of value refers to the mutual and collaborative interaction between a buyer and a seller. So the idea is that both sides collaborate and there is new value created together as part of that interaction. Now typically the way we look at value is that value in a traditional sense lies within the product. And the product carries value, and then the buyer pays the seller for that value. Now in a co-creation of value setting, value is in the service, and the product is just the vessel through which that value is being delivered.
I’ll give you a personal example. I could go on the Nike website and co-create my own shoe together with Nike. Nike has all the colors and all the designs ready for me, and all I need to do is click and point at the different parts of the shoe, and design them in a way that I like it.
Now I get the benefit of designing my own shoe which holds value for me. And Nike gets to sell me a pair of shoes.

Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp