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Issue No 35 - Winter 2016

Welcome to our latest e-bulletin. There is still much talk about collaborative working but as yet efforts seem to be minimal and unfocused. Terms like Customer Relationship Management, Supplier Relationship Management and even Business Relationship Management are bandied about but none of them are about a meeting of equals. The Business case for Collaborative Working, where it is appropriate, remains as strong as ever. We wish all our colleagues a restful Christmas holiday and an exciting 2017!

Is This the Beginning of the End?

In our earlier special edition we announced the publication of our latest Simple Guide on managing Exit. This has been well received including in a lecture to the Procurement and Supply Chain MSc course at Cranfield School of Management. More recently the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management hosted a webinar in their Ask The Expert series where we were able to explain the importance and ‘how to’ of managing Exit. There was an international audience of over 300 people who asked some questions around practical issues that they had been struggling with.

  • “We asked our partner to give us an Exit Plan but they have not done so!”

Exit considerations should during the Decision Phase are part of the process of understanding a potential partner and therefore a joint activity. Once a partner has been chosen the Exit Plan forms part of the foundation of the relationship.

  • “Whatever you think it’s going to cost double it!”

If you have developed and maintained your Exit Plan jointly, when you come to implement it there should be no surprises.

  • “How do you handle a potential partner who just wants to just do the contract and leave at the end with no consequences?”

A collaborative relationship always has consequences for all partners and stakeholders; super normal benefits will always out weight the cost and risks. Exit planning enables everyone to mitigate and shoulder their fair share of the consequences.


You can view our webinar slides here. Generally there is a shortage of Exit case studies. If you have any experiences that you can share in-confidence if neccessary, we would like to hear from you.


Picture the scene. It’s four days before Christmas in Santa’s office (CEO Xmas Ltd). Suddenly the door bursts open and in rushes Ramona, the Elf in charge of Procurement, greatly agitated.

R: Doom, gloom, woe, plagues of fogs, it’s the end of the world....

S: Calm-down, do calm-down, what’s all the fuss about?

R: Our main cracker supplier, Cracker Retail, has decided to leave Euro Consortium who supplies them with all their jokes. What will become of our deliveries? What will happen if we run out at this critical time? Oh I should have seen it coming. The jokes have got wackier and wackier over the last few years; too many Irishman, Greek and Italian stories. How many Consortium members does it take to fit a red nose? Answer: None – Rudolf does it himself – boob-boom.

S: That’s terrible. Why was there no carefully thoughtout Exit Plan from the very start 40 years ago? The likely scenarios should have been considered. Over the years as the times changed the Plan should have been updated. At the termination point it could have swung, smoothly into action and all concerned, customers and suppliers would have been happy.

R: Unfortunately it has come as a big shock to Mr Junket, Euro Consortium’s CEO and jokemeister. He is quoted as saying "the relationship would last a thousand years so we don’t need Exit Planning".

S: I’m going to ring Mrs April, the CEO of Cracker Retail. “Hello, Santa Claus here. What’s going to happen to our deliveries? Oh, we’re not to worry. You are now doing business with Trumpet Jokes, the big US conglomerate. All their jokes are guaranteed to make our customers laugh. All our orders will be received on-time.

And a Very Merry Christmas to you, too!”

The Simple Guide Series – Special Offer

We have completed our Simple Guides series of 5 handbooks that cover collaborative working from end–to-end. They are primarily aimed at practical, operational managers. Our advice cuts through the usual technical and academic jargon that surrounds the management of alliances. It provides clear action checklists together with the rationales behind them. You can tailor the way you use the guides to suit the needs of your particular collaborative enterprise. Our approach is scalable to fit any size, whether you are an SME or a multi-national company, public or private sector organisation. They are available in both hard copy and e-book formats. We are offering the series as a set at a significant discount.

For further information and to purchase click here.


If you would like further information or to provide feedback please contact:

Linda McComie,

60 Colts Holm Road,

Old Wolverton,

Milton Keynes,

MK12 5QD, UK

Tel:       +44(0)1908-561892

Mobile: +44(0)7778 555412


Company Registered in England No. 5150526

VAT No. 844 9460 96



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