Working together to create customer-supplier value – a strategic challenge facing purchasers

Collaborative working* is not an original DNA element of the purchasing function. It calls for setting up dedicated management along with specific skills.

If the customer-supplier relationship is to be enhanced, which skills actually need to be established?

The French purchasing association, Conseil National des Achats and Thésame, are the co-organizers of the 3rd Collaborative Forum to be held in Lyon on 20 June 2017, where this issue will be addressed as part of their Peak programme. There will be 200 professionals in attendance to discuss their best practices (programme details are given at: )


supplier relationship

This year’s theme is:

“the skills required to work together”. It aims to showcase the best practices for building customer-supplier relationships and conduct a review of the difficulties encountered and the solutions envisaged when optimizing and creating value in the co-development process.

This year, based on our experience of previous forums, we decided to make a firm commitment to strengthening our positioning centred on the development of high-powered, innovative B2B ecosystems by becoming one of the Forum’s partners.

The Forum will also provide the opportunity to gather eye-witness accounts for the first survey of customer-supplier co-development practices in France – a joint venture between Thésame, the G’SCOP research laboratory of Grenoble Institute of Technology and Savoie Mont-Blanc University and ourselves (under the auspices of PEAK’s Collaborative Observatory programme).

This national survey aims to assist purchasing and R&D/Innovation divisions to come to grips with the reality of customer-supplier co-development arrangements, assess best practices, examples of reticence and difficulties but most of all to provide perspective on working methods and management systems to change practices.

By the end of this year, when the survey is completed, a white paper will be published presenting our findings on co-development.

supplier relationship

A growing number of firms rely on their suppliers for product manufacturing and marketed services and also further upstream when they are designing their offer.

Co-development occurs when companies include their suppliers in the development phases prior to the implementation and commercialisation phases.

The Forum programme includes: BtoB meetings between partners and sponsors, eye-witness accounts and three thematic workshops centred on the competitive opportunities generated by the quality of relations (more details at: -Programme-du-Forum-du-Collaboratif-2.pdf ).

Finding out about upcoming practices to guide change within teams, giving perspectives to take away ideas for operational solutions… there are so many avenues to explore to prompt a sea change in behaviour patterns.

NB: as partners to this Forum, we can offer you a discount code if you sign up for this day.

Just click the following link: and enter the “bfc92” code.

* Collaborative working – changing from the hierarchical organization of work to a cooperative arrangement.