Today, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced that the most recent economic recession in the USA had ended in June 2009. In their announcement, they were careful not to imply that economic conditions have been great since then (that would surely get some opposition, right?), noting that “the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity…Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.”

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However, as economic hardships continue as evidenced by the stubborn unemployment rate which remains near double digits, there is still time to use the negotiation techniques shared in the article “Negotiation Techniques With A Shelf Life.”

The thing that got me thinking about recession-era negotiation techniques was the supplier relationship tension dogging iStockphoto as I reported last week. In a series of posts on their online forum, iStockphoto’s COO tried to explain the company’s decision to slash the existing supplier payment structure. Unfortunately for him, the suppliers voiced their opposition loudly, clearly, and, in some cases, profanely in response.

While the COO tried to explain the “need” for the changes, he never once mentioned any other constituencies that were affected by a desire to reduce cost. No layoffs. No salary reductions. No budget cuts. Just supplier royalty reductions.

Could the “Share In The Sacrifice” technique discussed in the article have worked better in that case?

After reading the responses in the forum and on supplier blogs, it’s hard to believe it could have made anything worse.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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