Everyone negotiates every day. In business, we negotiate with external vendors, suppliers and partners. Internally, we negotiate with other teams, office mates and managers. However, very few companies develop and nurture effective negotiation and partnership skills in their people, nor do they develop negotiation strategies or plans that lead to successful outcomes. I thought this was an opportunity to teach negotiation and partnerships skills, apart of developing strategies and plans. Wise and enlightened words by Mr. Daniel Duty in an interview on the IdeaMensch online platform, last October. Duty is the founder and CEO of Conlego, a firm specializing in the fields of negotiation, partnership building and joint business solutions.
In an interesting article published on LinkedIn about the “relationships” between retailers and suppliers, he also affirms that there is no reason they should engage in win-lose approaches and tactics, when in many cases they share common goals: innovate, cut costs, find efficiencies and grow sales and profit. This is something absolutely certain, even if many companies nowadays still don’t follow Duty’s thoughts. By engaging in more collaborative strategic partnerships, joint business planning and cooperative negotiations, in fact, both retailers and suppliers could achieve their goals and ensure the long-term health of the industry.
Today, it is demonstrated that strategic partnerships and the use of the so called “JBP” (Joint Business Planning) are necessary approaches to find new opportunities for innovation, cost-cutting and sales growth. Talking about his previous work experience in Target Corporation in the 2000s, for instance, the CEO of Conlego says that the company accelerated sales growth with suppliers with whom it engaged in annual joint business planning over those it engaged in simple transactional relationships. Where it engaged in enhanced partnerships with key strategic suppliers, implementing long range plans and projects, it experienced even greater growth, especially through negotiations with companies such as Coca-Cola, Hasbro and Levi’s.
Anyway, he also recognizes that partnerships and joint planning take time and effort to do them in value-creating ways and realize success, and that is why, at least at first, only a handful of partners should be engaged in these activities. But ultimately, it is and always will be true that all collaborative practices – strategic partnerships, JBPs and cooperative negotiations – create more value for retailers and suppliers, finding new opportunities for both to grow sales and profit.
➔ Link to Duty’s article on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/2JD7PeF
➔ Link to the interview on IdeaMensch: https://bit.ly/2K13lhf