On the other hand, it has become essential for companies to establish good and long term relations with their customers, as loyal customers can bring in good business to any company (Axelsson et al, 2005). Also understanding customer’s needs is essential because it helps the company to design their offerings in the right and appropriate manner. For instance, Manse Foods, one of the largest dairy product divisions of the major food processing companies in Europe highly focuses upon customer’s needs, as they believe that it’s a very essential part of their business. So Manse has the policy of maintaining a closer and stronger relationship with its customers. It has divided its customers into three groups as regular customers, key customers and spot customers. Once the classification is complete, the company apply separate strategy to deal with each of these customers in a particular manner. For example, company adopt “relationship approach” for its key customers (Harrison and Hoek).
As it is important to manage company’s approach downstream, it is also essential that companies do have proper approaches for all its transactions upstream i.e. with its suppliers, (Blankenburg, et al, 1999). The process starts with having the right kind of suppliers who are capable of providing right products at the right time. In order to maintain a proper position in any business network or to move to a new position, it is always essential that company have the right kind of suppliers for all its raw materials and other resources required produce the end products (goods or services). It is also important to maintain a good relationship with each and every supplier a company chose to do business with (Percy, 2010). One of the finest examples of how company has used its supply chain in an appropriate manner to achieve the right business is the case of Benetton groups. Though the company manufactures a majority of its products, for supply side, it depends mostly on its “Contractors” who in turn depend on their “Sub-contractors”. They help the company by knitting and assembling the garments for the company. This arrangement helps Benetton to keep its production cost much low compared to its competitors and on the other hand it becomes easy to absorb the demand fluctuation in the market, as a portion can be transferred to this contractors and in turn to the sub-contractors instead of bearing the entire effect all alone (Nigel Slack et al, 2001).
The essay in its short span gives an idea of how companies in today’s fast and dynamic business environment are managing their position either by maintaining a status-quo or by repositioning or by exiting the present position in the business network in which it operates. It can be understood from the essay that it has become vital for each and every company to understand the competitiveness of the market, the threats and opportunity that it might encounter in the recent future with the help of Porter’s five force analysis from time to time (Porter, 1979). It is important for the company to define its strategies depending on what exactly the company wants to do while holding a particular position in the network or if they wish to change. It is important for companies today to review its strategies from time to time and check whether they are capable of fulfilling their strategies i.e. it is essential to check whether all the resources are available or not. The essay also highlights that in order to move or maintain a position in the business network, it is essential that the company maintain a good relation with its customers (downstream) as well as have proper suppliers (upstream) at the same time. It is also essential for any company big or small to communicate with its customers at the right time to make them aware of the offering that the company have for them to achieve the above normal profits than others in the network.
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