Buyer-Seller Relationships

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Outsourcing Business Processes for Innovation

Although many organizations initiate business process outsourcing to reduce costs or acquire new skills, it can evolve into much more. Sometimes, service providers deliver substantial long-term improvements to the client’s operating efficiency and strategic performance. But these improvements seldom happen unless clients and providers implement a process that combines acculturation across organizations, a method for generating ideas, adequate funding and a system for managing change.

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The New E-Commerce Intermediaries

The idea that e-commerce would lead to disintermediation has turned out to be largely wrong. The Web transforms but does not eliminate the advantages of the middleman‘s central lookout position. The authors show how new kinds of intermediaries are helping smart companies realize the promise of the Web. They offer nine ways that intermediaries traditionally add value and explain that three will change, three will survive in a new form, and three present growth opportunities.

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Changing the Channel: A Better Way To Do Trade Promotions

The authors examine the theoretical and practical problems associated with trade promotions, and they explain how the right kind of deal can be created — a transparent system that generates mutual trust and provides benefits to both manufacturers and retailers. The key is proper implementation of what is thus far a little understood tool: the pay-for-performance trade promotion, in which retailers get rewarded according to how much they sell, not how much they buy.

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An Empirical Study of Flexibility in Manufacturing

Much has been written in recent years about flexible factories and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), but the literature has been largely theoretical; managers who are interested in making their factories more flexible have little empirical research on which to base their decisions.

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Supplier Relations in Japan and the United States: Are They Converging?

Supplier-customer relationships in the United States are changing rapidly. Where once contracts were short-term, arm’s-length relationships, now contracts have increasingly become long term. More and more, suppliers must provide customers with detailed information about their processes, and customers talk of “partnerships” with their suppliers.S

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