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Antecedents and Benefits of the Preferred Customer Status in a Buyer-Supplier Relationship: A Multiple Case Study at Company X and Three of its Key Suppliers

Franck, K. (2016) Antecedents and Benefits of the Preferred Customer Status in a Buyer-Supplier Relationship: A Multiple Case Study at Company X and Three of its Key Suppliers.

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Abstract:In recent years, the importance of becoming a preferred customer of the most innovative suppliers has received increased attention in the literature. However research this far has been mostly conducted from a theoretical perspective. What is lacking is the practical application of the concept. Therefore, a dual perspective multiple case study has been conducted with a company from the mechanical engineering sector and three of its strategic suppliers to explore the antecedents and benefits of the preferred customer status in practice. This study confirms of large number of previously identified drivers and benefits of the preferred customer status, but also presents novel findings that have not been mentioned in the literature before. Within the case study it was found that high purchasing volumes, potential business opportunities, long-term and trustful relationships as well as effective communications are the main drivers of the preferred customer status. While this confirms the literature, several drivers of the preferred customer status could be identified that are not placed in the literature yet. These are company size, market presence & influence on the market, special services & support, information exchange, customer innovativeness and financial soundness as well as supplier awards, reputation and brand name. This study also touched upon the influence of the buyer’s reputation, buyer’s status and the partner’s strategic fit on the preferred customer status in more detail and found a positive relationship between these concepts. Furthermore, this study found that preferred customers benefit from increased supplier innovativeness, preferential treatment, flexibility and quick problem solving but also from performed services that are outside of the supplier’s core business. These findings are also supported by the literature. Furthermore, making exclusive investments for a customer is one additional benefit that has not been confirmed in the literature yet.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70994
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