Three Cs of GAM

Suppliers can simultaneously respond to their shareholders’ growth expectations and their major customers’ expectations for global relationships. Creating such a link between the push and pull of globalization requires that the supplier follow three steps leading to successful globalization.

First, customers – not countries – must define the supplier’s globalization strategy. This simple statement represents the most important message to organizations serving major customer relationships. Major customers must be the principal authors of the supplier’s globalization plans. Unless this step is taken, the supplier faces a steep and unassisted uphill climb to success in global markets.

Second, if the supplier is to create a competitive advantage, the major customer must see an emphasis on customization that responds to customer chain distinctions across markets. In global markets more than anywhere else, major customers must be treated as unique, special customers.

Last, processes and business systems integration can enable the supplier to build a basis for competitive success with its major customers. To do this, the supplier must develop process competencies and globalization services that can deliver value to customers and create lasting ties to the supplier. It must do so within the context of the major customer’s own strategy for building economies of scale and a competitive advantage within its own global portfolio.

A globalization strategy built upon existing major customer relationships can reduce risk and shorten the time required to meet the inherent challenges of global markets. Insights and programs that shift globalization away from the unfamiliar nature of new countries and link it to familiar major customers can fuel the growth that is needed to achieve improved shareholder value. The three steps of customers – not countries, customization, and process advantages are the ones that provide the shortest and most direct route to sustained success with global customer relationships.

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