Managing B2B relationships in industrial markets

General information

CourseManaging B2B relationships in industrial markets
Credits 6
Professor Enrico BARALDI

Brief content description

“No business is an island” is a phrase that well captures the strategic situation of most companies, especially within B2B markets. Most of the choices and outcomes for one firm are strongly dependent on the actions and reactions of other firms, be these suppliers, customers, distributors and competitors. In fact, other specific firms are so important that it becomes necessary to understand their individual strategies in order to forge one’s own strategies. For instance, a couple of large industrial customers can have such an impact that the selling firm needs to analyze in detail their “organizational buying behavior”. At the same time, the firm needs to address its own suppliers with a purchasing strategy that takes into account the specificities of each single supplier. Given the importance of some individual suppliers and customers, the development of close business relationships with them becomes pivotal for value creation, inside and outside a company. Value is indeed created by managing these business relationships. But the complex issue is that these relationships cannot be managed separately from one another: all customer relationships, as well as a company’s relationships to its own suppliers, sub-suppliers and distributors are connected to each other into a business network. This course puts therefore a strong emphasis on how a firm can use the whole network that surrounds it by combining relationships and external resources for value creation and other strategic purposes.

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