Confusion reigns: ‘win-win’ and power in business relationships

This week we have seen Pfizer’s proposed take over of Astra Zeneca reported prominently in the media with commentators and politicians queuing up to declare the takeover as ‘against the strategic national interest’ and making reference to ‘Pfizer’s predatory asset stripping record’. It is another interesting David and Goliath story

David Atkinson presenting at SAMA Paris conference

Four Pillars will be represented by David Atkinson at the Strategic Account Management Association’s Pan-European Conference in Paris next month. David will be co-presenting with Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Alison Smith, Senior Director Business Development, EMEA on the topic of:- “Achieving deep procurement insight to build and retain business” How Carlson

Sales and procurement: a war for the ages?

Commercial history’s annals are full of anecdotes about the business-to-business buyer-seller relationship. Very few strategic account managers don’t have an epic tale of an encounter with a purchasing manager. And on the other side, most procurement professionals have plenty to say regarding SAMs. As career-long specialists from each camp, we

Taxing times for relationship managers

Yesterday, as usual, I woke up to the sound of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme and a report on the apparent infiltration of tax consultants from the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms into HM’s Treasury department.  These consultants were on short-term placement in Whitehall to help civil servants understand how tax loopholes

London Selling to Procurement Workshop

Following the success of our recent Birmingham open ‘Selling to Procurement’ workshop, we are running a further workshop on May 23rd in central London. For those of you in sales and account management who regularly meet with professional buyers / procurement, this 1 day workshop will really help you to understand the

SRM Series: #12 Power: A Place in Education and Training?

In this fourth and final blog in a series on power in buyer-supplier relationships from Chris Lonsdale, he argues that it would be a mistake to simply dismiss ‘power’ as ‘bad practice’, and proposes that teaching managers about power is about preparing them for potential manipulation or aggressive behaviour from the other side.

SRM Series: #11 The Use of Power in Supply Markets

In this third in a series of blogs from Chris Lonsdale on the concept of power in buyer-supplier relationships, he asserts that a dominant power position in a business relationship is just that, a position. It doesn’t have to be aggressively exploited. In practice the deployment of power resources is a

SRM Series: #9 Revisiting Buyer-Supplier Power

The current horse meat scandal is one of those regular events in British life that confirms the prejudices of all manner of people. The usual suspects have (inevitably) seen this as the latest reason to bash the EU. Other usual suspects have bashed the ‘free market’ and the scandal has

Looking through the eyes of procurement…

Congratulations to the participants of our first ever open selling to procurement workshop that took place in Birmingham on the 4th December. We began by reveiewing our latest research into the Sales: Procurement relationship. View here: The Sales & Procurement Relationship. There were some excellent discussions around the role of procurement


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