Constable, Gordon K. (1990, ASQC) Write State University, Dayton, OH
The relationship between an external supplier and the customer has been examined at length for years: both from a "customer service" orientation to find out what the customer wants and provide it - and from a "adversary" orientation - negotiate the highest price the customer will pay or, conversely, the lowest price you and get for the material/service you are seeking. Very little effort has been focused upon the concept of developing a close working relationship with the suppliers and customers as extensions of your own organization until recently. The concepts embodied in Just-in-Time and other Japanese management techniques have focused efforts towards working with a reduced number of suppliers for mutual benefit. This concept is currently being extended to encompass internal as well as external customer/supplier relationships. The paper will briefly examine the relationship between the external customer/supplier and the internal customer/supplier. The current structure of organizations will be examined in terms of its impact on the relationships between internal customers and suppliers. In the paper we will examine the internal customer supplier interface and discuss an approach for improving the relationship. Potential benefits will be discussed. A model for analyzing the customer/supplier interface will be presented. A seven step process will be utilized to initiate the process. The approach will then be applied to a sample situation. Difficulties in applying the approach will be discussed as well as some of the benefits obtained. The summary will compare the expected results to those obtained in the application of the model.
Human resources (HR)