Conclusions One simple message leaps from the data in this survey. In the new era of supply-chain management within the extended enterprise, the primary concern of all suppliers is to improve the quality of their relationships. Better understanding of suppliers and customers, better communications, more flexible production systems, and closer integration of R&D all point to the rhetoric of the 'shared destiny' relationship being translated into reality. The difficulty for suppliers throughout the supply chain is that each vehicle manufacturer has a unique approach to procurement. Despite various moves to harmonize basic requirements such as quality levels, suppliers have to customize the relationship with each vehicle manufacturer.
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