The Negotiator Magazine

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In a negotiation there will be many areas in which you can look for added value:

  1. Follow the entire process from the engendering of the idea to the time when the end user can no longer benefit from the product. Who can do what in the course of this long chain?
  2. Financial variables and conditions
  3. Quality and performance, technical specification of requirements
  4. Economies of scale
  5. Time
  6. Purchasing patterns
  7. Rights

Follow the entire process. Get an overview of how things look today. That is the point of departure for all changes:

  1. Why do they do things this way? Never accept the answer, 'That's how we've always done', 'That's normal practice in the industry', 'We just follow our routines', 'It works.'
  2. What will happen when the need no longer exists and the production or the service is to be abandoned? Will the machine be scrapped? Can its life be prolonged? Can it be sold off? Is the system flexible and can it be extended and modernized?
  3. What are the individual elements? How do they affect costs, risks, and profits? How do they affect time, reliability, and useful life? Define the factors that have a negative impact on time, costs, reliability, and useful life.
  4. What can we do instead? What would happen in that case? Positive or negative change? Where are the opportunities and risks and problems? Compare these to the point of departure.
  5. Who will do the work that has to be done? The most cost-effective party, the one who will benefit most from the experience gleaned, the most risk-oriented party who can sustain adversity. How do we solve the problem if it becomes necessary to transfer the responsibility, do we need to redesign the product, or will anyone have to get extra training?
  6. What advantages can new technology give us? The emergence of the Internet as a channel of information and distribution is an example of new technology that opens up new opportunities and which constitutes a threat to much traditional commerce.

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September 2004