Club.Fotolia_50830204_XS.jpgIn the movie The Godfather, Don Corleone utters this classic line on the art of negotiations, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”


When it comes to negotiations with your suppliers, does your company “make an offer they can’t refuse” or does it “make an offer they love to embrace?”


As Sundar Kamakshisundaram explains, the goodwill that companies’ develop with their suppliers is a critical asset and competitive edge in today’s increasingly complex global economy. In the Networked Economy, it’s not the art of negotiations that matter. Rather, it’s the art of collaboration that delivers an agile and efficient supply chain.


Sundar is hosting a number of breakout sessions at Ariba LIVE, which include these topics:


  • Maximizing Trading Partner Performance & Collaboration in the Networked Economy
  • Collaborative Sourcing in the Networked Economy
  • Realize Accelerated Savings Through Effective Category Management and Supplier Collaboration Strategies
  • Drive Compliance, Mitigate Risk and Prevent Savings Leakage through Collaborative Contract Management


I recently spoke with Sundar about supply chains and what Ariba LIVE attendees will learn during his sessions.


At The Networked Economy blog, you’ve written about risks to supply chains. What risk factors are companies overlooking when it comes to their supply chains?


One of the points I stress to procurement professionals is the need to become a “customer of choice” with your suppliers. When companies take the attitude of squeezing costs from their suppliers, they create unnecessary vulnerabilities within their supply chains. Why?


  • Suppliers are less likely to dedicate highly-skilled (and more expensive) staff to support your business
  • Suppliers may look to recoup lost revenue from your business by increasing prices when you face an urgent need for a part or product critical to your operations
  • Suppliers may turn to vendors within their own supply chain who are less stringent with quality standards in order to preserve revenue – remember the horse meat scandal in Europe?


·        To gain “customer of choice” status, companies need to be collaborative with their suppliers by offering visibility and options. Companies also need to understand how every organization that touches their supply chains positively benefits from the business relationship.  These relationships with suppliers become a strategic asset in keeping your supply chain running and become a competitive differentiator.


Sundar, what are the key insights attendees will hear in your breakout sessions?


Visibility will be a key theme. Spend analysis is a vital practice – you can’t improve what you can’t see and measure. Better visibility and spend analysis within a company’s supply chain enables procurement professionals to drive sustainable savings, ensure contract compliance, and eliminate maverick spend.


We’ll also address the importance of collaborative sourcing. It’s not just about sending out RFQs and RFPs. In today’s Networked Economy, companies need to take advantage of collaboration tools to quickly find and evaluate suppliers who can meet their specifications, standards, and sourcing needs.


We have a variety of Ariba customers who will share their first-hand experience on building collaborative relationships with suppliers. Speakers include JetBlue, Covidien, CVS, Ally Bank, United Health Group, McGraw-Hill, MetLife and TopSource.


As a trained engineer and frequent conference speaker, you’ve mastered the logistics of business travel. What’s your “go to” travel tip for Ariba LIVE attendees?


For me, it’s critical to maintain a balance with my work and family responsibilities. I look to automate the complexity of business travel. Mobile apps like Trip Case help me manage my travel itineraries.  For Ariba LIVE attendees, I find the Ariba LIVE event app is a “must have” tool to manage their Ariba LIVE agenda and to take advantage of the wealth of information delivered at the event.


Don’t miss out on Sundar’s sessions at Ariba LIVE. To learn more about Sundar’s views on managing supply chain risks, read his postings at The Networked Economy blog.



Photo credit: © josefkubes -