Accessing supplier innovation by being their preferred customer

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    In the context of open innovation, firms increasingly rely on the collaboration of suppliers in their innovation processes. However, not all competent suppliers are willing to collaborate with all buyers, which is why achieving preferred customer status with key suppliers becomes important. This paper presents the results of a consortial benchmarking project that studied the supplier relationship management tactics of several best-practice firms. It identifies characteristics of suppliers who innovate well with their customers and emphasizes the importance of a firm establishing itself as an attractive customer as a prerequisite of successful buyer-supplier collaborations. This paper proposes additional sourcing criteria to identify innovative suppliers and introduces a supplier portfolio model based on customer attractiveness and supplier competence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-50
    JournalResearch technology management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Open innovation
    • Early supplier integration
    • Sourcing
    • Buyer-supplier relationships


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