PARTNER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT IN INTEGRATED SUPPLY CHAINS
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The aim of the study was to determine the basis for partner relationship management and ties within integrated supply chains. These include both internal ties (between the integrator and enterprises forming the chain) and external ties, chiefly with buyers and suppliers.The author applied partnership marketing tools as the basis for relationship management and conducted direct interviews with chain integrators. The article reviews three groups of tools: 1) cooperation agreements, marketing programs, letters of intent and memoranda of understanding; 2) instruments for the management of groups of products as part of the Effective Consumer Response (ECR) strategy; 3) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, with a special focus on the individualization of the product range, the quality of services and communication with clients. Group 1 comprises tools needed for building internal relationships, while groups 2 and 3 contain those used to build external relationships. The results of the analysis confirm the need to introduce these instruments, but the application of these tools frequently encounters various difficulties and limitations. Major barriers include poor adaptation of cooperation agreements to the requirements of partner relationship management, failure to monitor contacts with clients and inadequate information technology systems poorly adapted to the needs of managing partner relationships. A proper division of roles and benefits between the chain participants and the integrator, on the one hand, and the market environment, on the other, creates chances for marketing success and development. Partner relationship management requires not only improved cooperation between the chain and the client, but also efforts to refocus personnel toward establishing project teams responsible for winning and keeping loyal clients.
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