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Apply the Bergen Brunswig’s Model to Develop Customer Success in Interlining Industry

Written by Global Supply Chain Management Team
Friday, 14 January 2011, 9:30


The current fierce competitive situation urges the manufacturers to make every effort to develop customer success. There are a lot of tools and strategies to achieve this goal. In most manufacturing industries, or perhaps applicable to most interlining suppliers for woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining, customer success strategies are typically focused on individual customers, as different customer organizations have unique requirements. It becomes a dilemma on targeting customer spectrum for developing customer success, as a supplier’s resources are limited to some degrees. Therefore, comprehensive identification and selection of the target customers who are willing to respond to such efforts and who are most likely to return loyalty to the supplier play a decisive role in developing customer success strategies. In some instances, however, a supplier may find it necessary and beneficial to launch success program on all customers to ensure their long-term survival.


To most manufacturers, industry efficiency improvements were significant. Establishing incentives for maintaining long-term alliances is attributed to tailoring services to specific customers. The nature of Bergen Brunswig’s initiative is a model based on logistical competency to achieve customer success and to gain competitive superiority. The Bergen Brunswig model consists of four stages, namely, cost-effectiveness, market access, market extension, and market creation.


1. Cost-Effectiveness

In Bergen Brunswig’s model, the primary and most fundamental step was to gain cost-effectiveness. It is essential that basic services could be performed at a consistently high level and in a cost-effective manner. This result is guaranteed by comprehensive processes and controls. From a managerial perspective, unless a firm is able to deliver basic service at reasonable cost, there are not possible for customers to return loyalty to the supplier and there is limited possibility of strengthening the customer relationships for future business opportunities. Take the interlining industry for example; an interlining supplier must bear in mind to implement their shipping service in a cost-effective manner. No customers are willing to accept interlining products like woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining at an unreasonable high cost. In addition, on-time delivery and zero short shipment should be guaranteed along with cost-effectiveness to develop customer success.


2. Market Access

The market access stage consisted of two aspects. One is the high-level of commitment from the supplier; the other is the willingness to cooperate in efforts from the buyer. These two aspects together facilitate smooth joint operations, and finally achieve joint objectives to develop customer success. It is important to stress that there should be no customer selections involved in the market access stage. For example, an interlining supplier needed to build a basic service commitment to all its customers, regardless to the order quantity on an interlining product such as woven interlining, no-woven interlining and fusible interlining. Once the interlining supplier provided the customers a specific service program, it became a fundamental business principle of fairness and legality that each customer would receive equal basic services under required purchased volumes.


3. Market Extension

Market extension in the Bergen Brunswig’s model aimed at intensifying a business arrangement to develop customer success. This aspect is to solidify and strengthen the business relationship based on efforts to striving for zero defects and introduce value-added services. At this stage, the relationship became highly selective, as it required the participated customers to have high capability in a cooperative context. In the market extension aspect, the supplier offered a variety of strategies to improve the competitiveness of the selected customers to achieve the value-added alliances. Customers in return, are willing to commit to the supplier as a sole-source supplier. For instance, the pioneer interlining supplier like Interlining Source Limited, designed value-added innovations to increase operating efficiency and extend overall competitiveness for their selected long-term business partners. Such value-added services include inventory turn reports, orders frequency analysis, immediate price change administration etc. in connection with woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining.


4. Market Creation

The last and probably most import aspect, market creation requires full commitment to a customer’s success. While the previous three aspects are aiming at developing the competitive competency, the final aspect is to enhance the results of developing customer success attributed to the previous stages. In this final aspect, researches and development on new and innovative ways to make customers remain increasingly competitive is the key functions provided by the supplier. For example, interlining suppliers can extend to the application of joint system to link their key customers electronically for the purpose of offering a comprehensive range of process control services on interlining products such as woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining.


The impact of logistics is shown in every stage of the Bergen Brunswig’s model to develop customer success. It is essential to keep everything under control and be cost-effective throughout the whole process. Suppliers should be fair in the market access to provide basic level services. During the market extension, suppliers are required to designed specific value-added services for their selected long-term key customers to gain increasing competitive competency. While in the market creation stage, researches and development on innovations strategies are needed to further enhance the business relationship between the supplier and customers. For a manufacturer, especially for an interlining supplier, a proper application on Bergen Brunswig’s model will help achieve supply chain success and developing customer success, with the fusion of information technology and leadership collaboration from both parties.


Last Updated on Friday, 14 January 2011, 22:45