Communication is fundamental for exchanging information in a timely manner in order to facilitate a wide range of business interactions. This real-life case study looks at communication between businesses and offers advice on how it can be improved in a business-to-business context, specifically in supply chain management. It is for students on supply chain management and logistics courses, who need to understand how to relate to other businesses and stakeholders, internally and externally.
The case focuses on a small company, which can't be named due to permissions issues, that makes small metal trolleys. It analyses their lack of communication with their paint supplier over eight years and the consequences. It assesses how things could have been done differently and encourages readers to think about communication and the supply chain in depth.
From this case you will learn about buyer supplier performance and the importance of good information exchange, which are both vital parts of running a successful supply chain business.
The case study highlights pitfalls to avoid, offers the reader some essential techniques for best practice, and focuses on key aspects of communication in business. These will improve cross-functional activities and increase profit as well as forging stronger networks and relationships with suppliers.
Xia Zhu is a senior lecturer in Marketing at Sheffield Hallam University. Before her academic career she worked as a business development manager in a British company expanding its business in the Far East. Her research interests are in services marketing and business-to-business marketing.