Customer Chains

‘Supplier Driven’ and ‘Channel Driven’ Business Models

For many business-to-business suppliers, their customer chains involve channel organizations and one or more stages of end customers, and such suppliers must address the business needs of their channel partners and also the business needs of its end customers. We find that there are two distinct clusters of business-to-business customer chains that involve both channel organizations and end customers. Some such customer chains involve a ‘Suppler Driven’ environment, in which the supplier has a direct and often intense relationship with the end customers one or more stages further down the chain. Other customer chains involve a ‘Channel Driven’ environment in which the channel organization has most or all of the direct relationship with the end customer. In the context of overall strategy, the effectiveness of various tools for channel management can be linked to the `Supplier Driven` and `Channel Driven` environment, allowing suppliers to design programs with greater likelihood of success.


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