That is: the dominant characteristic of decision making in, and among a broad spectrum of businesses, that deal with other businesses. The B2B sector has been subjected to profound structural changes during the past two years.
Retrenchments have thinned ranks. Delegated authorities have been withdrawn and concentrated to those in higher ranks. Budgets on discretionary purchase items have been slashed. As a consequence many relationships have been noticeably fractured, and in some instances, terminated. Those who once had the authority and power to say “yes” have been reduced to the options of only saying “no ... unless referring” – or having to refer it to others.
Income- streams have rapidly dried up. Remedial actions by service and product providers who have lost income streams can readily encounter “locked doors” or advice that new supplier arrangements have been implemented which do not include them.
One-on-one relationships in business are characteristically fraught with danger.
Changes in personnel, regimes and policies expose often long-established suppliers to the reality of cash-flow evaporation. It’s not so much that the “dam has run dry”, it could be that it is being rechannelled or water being dammed upstream.
It is a two-sided coin. As staff members of supply companies “walk-out the door” so too do a number of clients. Loyalty can be, and often is, personal.
Therefore, the lessons which are being strikingly and tellingly learned in the contemporary marketplace underscore the imperative discipline of ensuring that B2B relationships are established, sustained and enhanced amongst at least two, and preferably more, people in each entity.
Disruption is not a concept which is limited to technology. Disrupted relationships and supply agreements can be, and often are destructive.
The conduct of regular audits of B2B relationships, communication channels and logistic infrastructure is prudent, if not essential. It contributes to the attainment of optimal productivity, consistency and continuity. Moreover, contingencies can be formulated, documented and implemented to avoid or redress disruptions and contractions.
Facilitator – Business Development Workshops
M: 041 983 5555