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In a negotiation there will be many areas in which you can look for added value:
- 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?
- Financial variables and conditions
- Quality and performance, technical specification of requirements
- Economies of scale
- Purchasing patterns
Follow the entire process. Get an overview of how things look today. That is
the point of departure for all changes:
- 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.'
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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?
- 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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Copyright © 2004, Iwar Unt
Copyright © 2004, The Negotiator Magazine