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n Journal of Contemporary Management - Managing customer-supplier relationship between big businesses and SMEs in South Africa
This research examines the inhibitors of effective customer-supplier relationship between big businesses and SMEs in South Africa. Conceptual analysis as a qualitative research technique was applied using three main steps; (1) analysis of the models on customer-supplier relationship, (2) evaluation of the strategies for building customer-supplier relationship between big businesses and SMEs in South Africa, and (3) comparison of the theories on customer-supplier relationship management with the approach used by the big businesses and SMEs in South Africa.
Due to high failure rates and limited capacity of SMEs, findings imply that most customer-supplier relationships are modelled a long traditional relationships or type 1 partnerships that are often characterised by short-term contracts in which based on pricing, buyers switch from one supplier to another. Such approach limits the ability of SMEs to take advantages of the deeper level of strategic partnerships and alliances that are often latent in supply chain optimisation and improvement of a firm's competitiveness.
The research concludes with a framework emphasising a blend of customer-supplier relationship with corporate social responsibility to enable larger businesses use customer-supplier relationships to improve the capacity of SMEs whilst at the same time also enhancing the attainment of their strategic goals and objectives.
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