On the same page

The first step an American supplier will take is to gain a deep understanding of the customer‘s needs. Because these aren’t always so concrete, they must also try to identify the perceived needs. The relationship with the customer should be highly collaborative on all levels, from the beginning to the end.

The American supplier, vendor, consultant, constantly strives to make sure that they are “on the same page” with the client. In fact, they work literally side-by-side with the client, going to the client’s place of work and completely adjusting their schedule. They maintain continuous dialogue throughout the process so that they always understand the client’s needs and desires, especially as they change.

This includes knowledge-transfer agreements, which detail when the customer will be able to do something on his own, without supplier assistance, so that he begins to take over the process.

Results: Because the customer exerts such a certain level of control over the external expert (the how as well as the what), the expert is held accountable exclusively for the work dictated (ordered) by the customer. How the results might affect related areas within the client company remains the responsibility of the customer. Responsibility cannot exceed scope of work.

Information: For this collaborative effort to function effectively a high level of communication between customer and supplier is necessary. Information flow is guaranteed via short-term feedback between the customer and the supplier during the entire business relationship. This allow customers to modify their requests depending on changing situations.