Articles

Managing customer share in key supplier relationships

A. Eggert, W. ULAGA

Industrial Marketing Management

November 2010, vol. 39, n°8, pp.1346-1355

Departments: Marketing

Keywords: Customer share, Customer value, Key supplier relationships, Supply base consolidation


Supply base consolidation is an important issue in many business markets. Against this background, the allocation of purchasing budgets across vendors becomes an area of vital interest to suppliers. In the present research, we argue that customer share is a key decision variable in business marketing settings and investigate how a supplier can proactively manage the share of its customer's business. We report the results of a cross-sectional study among purchasing managers in U.S. manufacturing industries. Our findings confirm the role of customer value as an antecedent to customer share in business relationships. The study further shows that customer share influences the stability of key supplier relationships. Rather than displaying a direct impact, our results suggest that trust mediates and dependence moderates the link between customer share and search for alternative suppliers. Based on these findings, we propose a framework for managing customer share in key supplier relationships. Four approaches of how industrial vendors can proactively manage customer share are discussed


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