Title: How small enterprises manage unexpected customer requests in B2B sales
Authors: Kai Hänninen; Matti Muhos; Harri Haapasalo
Addresses: Micro-Entrepreneurship Centre of Excellence, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500, Nivala, Finland ' Micro-Entrepreneurship Centre of Excellence, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, FI-85500, Nivala, Finland ' Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4610, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Abstract: This article analyses upstream supply chain practices in small enterprises to determine how firms manage unexpected customer requests in business-to-business (B2B) sales situations. A small company's offer often fails to satisfactorily meet a customer's needs in B2B sales situations. In such situations, an upstream supply chain network plays an important role in advancing B2B sales negotiations. The selection of a new supplier is crucial if the existing supplier network is not able to respond within an acceptable amount of time. In small firms, well-managed supplier networks can ensure fast delivery. Selecting a new supplier during sales negotiation could be risky; however, potential risks could be mitigated by having a core group of suppliers who can expeditiously fulfil requests.
Keywords: small sized enterprises; sales; customer preferences; new product creation; NPC; supply chain; business-to-business; B2B.
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2021 Vol.44 No.4, pp.452 - 469
Accepted: 09 Apr 2019
Published online: 17 Dec 2021 *