OpEx Solutions

'There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently
that which should not be done at all'.

—Peter F. Drucker.





Compete with Supply Chain WIN-WIN-WIN Syndicate

by Rich Deegan & Martin Nazareth 


WIN-WIN Strategy has been used to describe customer-supplier relationships for several years with the assumption that both achieve their desired outcome. In reality, there may be two basic flaws in this supposition.
Flaw #1:
A true WIN-WIN relationship is essential for a long-term relationship between customers and suppliers with the foundation of trust, mutual respect, and commitment. In reality, many negotiations take place with the stronger and better positioned party taking advantage of the weaker or distressed party. The fact that both parties have gotten into an agreement indicates that each of them expects to meet their desired outcome. However, this is a WIN-LOSE relationship as one is trying to win disproportionately in relation to the other. This relationship is not a long-term winning partnership as the two parties compete on terms that suit them at the cost of the other.
Flaw #2:
There need to be WIN-WIN relationships across the supply chain, between three or four parties — the organization, the extended enterprise (customer & supplier) and the people within the organizations. That is a WIN-WIN-WIN relationship. When one of these parties is not considered in the equation, the relationship is weak. While individuals are sometimes included, it is typically only the leadership and the intent of developing people is often neglected. In the Toyota house of Lean, the bottom-most foundation layer is “People” and Toyota is one organization that does this part well. A supply chain is only as strong as its foundation.

Despite learning the Toyota approach for over twenty years, most supply chains don’t practice the WIN-WIN-WIN strategy.
An indicator of these flawed relationships is a high degree of instability due to:

  • Frequent changes in customer-supplier relationships
  • High turnover of employees

Recommended Strategy to Compete as a Syndicate

  • Aligned values, ethics and people-based syndicate of organizations
  • Aligned goals and metrics
  • PDCA so that the syndicate WINs versus its competition



Supply Chain Excellence for Leaders Coming to Pennsylvania

Over 50% of production costs are linked to supply chain (SC). SC is a crucial factor in the profitability and success of any organization.

The Supply Chain Excellence for Leaders seminar was launched May 11th to excellent reviews. This seminar focuses on practical applications of supply chain (SC) strategy, design, and risk management.


Two key takeaways from the participants was that the SC strategy….

  • Must integrate and test all changes with its goals, and
  • Must address initial end-to-end product design to lock the majority of the total delivered costs up front.         

Participants expressed that the practical approach, exercises, and application to their own organizations was most useful.

Based on the enthusiastic feedback and requests for further sessions, a Supply Chain Excellence for Leaders seminar has been scheduled for September 13, 2016 (registration ends Aug 26), in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and another for October 18, 2016, as the first of four seminars for Leader Training Week in Houston, Texas.



OpEx Solutions is an organization that helps identify strategic areas for improvement and provides effective high-value, low-cost solutions, training, and project management to drive significant productivity improvement through the use of operational excellence tools and systems in most manufacturing and service industries.

With a variety of offerings to choose from, we're confident of working with your organization to find and define your own way through:

  • Executive Coaching
  • World-class Training
  • Dedicated Workshops
  • Knowledge Network
  • Project Management

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Find out more About Us, then look at our Stategy to make your possibilities a reality.


Ask the Expert!

For free email business advice, send your questions, comments or ideas to mnazareth@opexsolutions.org. For issues that are of particular interest to the the community, we may publish (with your permission) your questions along with our answers on this web site.

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