Long-term Customer Agreements…….Require A Different Perspective…. A Different Attitude…For A Different...Better Business Result

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By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.

“The first stage of humility 
Is to keep the sacred nature of consciousness 
And the world in which it exists 
Always alive within us”…….Always We Begin Again, John McQuiston, II


To understand immediate, even new opportunities…. requires me to study my world…from the footsteps of my clients…suppliers… employees….and… family and friends….often asking, “What am I missing…..what have I not recognized…?”

Just like your favorite Police-Detective drama, repeat reviews of all the facts…almost always…..turns-up important new perspectives….and questions.

Each of us has customers and clients… who want a more committed, long-term working relationship. …Yet…few recognize the multitude of “mutual benefits”…that tend to go begging…..from neglect of this condition.

Until we begin a thoughtful investigation of “mutual opportunities …and  benefits”…from Long-term Agreements…..we tend to be….”clueless”….

Recently, our client insisted on my removing a question in their Customer Survey draft:

yes or no“Would you be interested in discussing a “Long-Term Agreement”, that reduces your costs, improves your productivity, improves overall Quality of Print --- and Print Services received, and especially your ROI on Print-related investments? _______Yes  _______ No”

Benefits to your customer/client can include, but are not limited to:

  1. More predictable pricing, and budgeting (including fewer cost overruns).
  2. Freed-up customer personnel, for more productive projects.
  3. More consistent and elevated Quality.
  4. Fewer errors --- to be corrected.
  5. Better ROI from Print-- from lower costs, and improved execution.
  6. Better Supplier understanding, and support --- to all your customer is working to achieve.
  7. Lower costs committed to managing and procuring Print, and related Services.

Benefits to you, the Supplier:

  1. Improved management of your costs --- you know better what to expect, when.
  2. Improved “Quality” of production.
  3. Improved margins...from more predictable revenues, and therefore better cost management..
  4. Improved “value of your company”….. from improved and more predictable revenue streams.


Part of my understanding to why she insisted on my removing that Question: We had developed, through a 4th draft, an excellent Survey for her company… and… I did not pursue (push) the issue --- with required conviction and explanation.

Her company’s  Survey Summary Report contained well over 500 additional product and service requests --- from current customers….and a 31% Customer Survey Response Rate.

Though her company’s Business Development Plan has profound opportunities….for the next 12-to-18 months, I critically recognize that I missed… at least one more opportunity….for her and her company.

Key Trend in our great Industry, not to be discounted:

If the Long-Term Agreement Supplier…. has done a credible job, over the life of the Agreement…. most originating customer managers have “moved-on” --- and the Agreement…is all but….“Automatically Renewed.”

“It is a bad plan that admits of no modification”…..Publilius Syrus




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