Tag Archives: History

How Do You Respond to Delivery Delay Requests? Four Points

Situation: A company negotiated a contract with a customer giving them a significant price break in exchange for a large committed order with extended delivery. The customer has now come back and requests additional time for delivery and payment on the order. The company has already procured extra material to produce the large order. How do you respond to requests for delivery delays?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Response will depend on the company’s history with customer. In the case of a long term customer who pays bills it is best to work with them. Explore solutions to meet them half-way.
    • Ask for a new commitment to take delivery by a date certain. Request consideration in return. For example, request partial payment up-front to help cover the cost of managing the delivery delay.
    • Keep the conversation going. Don’t get to point where you alienate a good customer.
  • If the customer is newer with less history but good potential for future growth, also respond flexibly but ask for additional consideration in good faith to cover your additional costs. As in the case above, request partial upfront payment to cover carrying costs – maybe a larger payment than for an established customer.
  • If the customer has been difficult in the past, or has been late with payments then the situation is different. There is no assurance that the customer isn’t just gaming the situation. Because the company has already committed resources to deliver the large order, demand an adjustment on price and terms in exchange for the delivery delay.
  • Whatever the history and situation, it is important to emphasize that you want to work with the customer.

How Do You Negotiate a Tricky Merger? Five Thoughts

Situation: A company is considering a merger. The other firm competes with customers who account for 25% of the company’s current revenue. How do you maximize the value of this merger to the company while mitigating the negative impact on current business?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The maximum risk from the combination is loss of 25% of current revenue. The merger makes sense if you believe you will gain upside which more than counters this risk.
  • Both companies have brand equity. Maintain both brands and to continue to promote them. Maintaining both brands will buy you time to replace business which is potentially at risk.
  • Talk to customers and get their perceptions of the pros and cons of the potential combination. Ask about any concerns that they may have. Understanding the pros, cons and concerns will help you to mitigate negative fall-out.
  • Legally, in a 50/50 split, the Chairman will call the shots. You will have little recourse to counter the Chairman if he decides to fire you. This individual has built his company through previous mergers. Visit and break bread with those who were principals of these companies at the time they were merged or acquired. This will tell you a great deal about the individual with whom you entrusting your future. You will also learn what the others did during their mergers to help plan your own moves.
  • Give yourself a back door or Golden Parachute after six months if the merger does not go as you anticipate.

Key Words: Merger, Competition, Value, Mitigate, Upside, Risk, Market, Access, Brand, Equity, Customers, Pros, Cons, Concerns, Control, History, Golden Parachute