A vendor whose aim is to deliver an order correctly on time and invoice a customer quickly is losing the competition. That’s because the above-mentioned approach is an assumption and standard to operate. Anyone can do that – or at least should. However, it is not enough to meet the customers’ needs. If a vendor’s main aim is to deliver and invoice, it is not possible to build a long-term customer relationship.

At its best, the relationship between a customer and a supplier is like a friendship formed as adults: You are not as close as childhood friends and you may not know everything about each other’s personal life, but you do things together in good spirit and the relationship may last for years or even decades.

We call this kind of relationship a partnership.

In a partnership, the aims and needs of both parties are taken into consideration and there is mutual respect. If there is a reason to complain, then you complain – but only for a good reason. Neither party should take a superior role, but instead the aim should be to find solutions to problems together. Only then both parties can be satisfied.

Based on customer feedback, the most important aspects for customers are the supplier’s reliability as a partner and responsibility for the products and services. These are the cornerstones of a partnership. Also, the importance of expertise is increasing because everyone has a limited amount of time – the right solution must be found faster than before. To meet these requirements, suppliers must be genuinely interested in their customers’ objectives and challenges as well as the problems hindering or preventing the objectives from being achieved. When a supplier is familiar with its customer’s operating environment, it is possible to find the right solutions and deepen the collaboration with the help of experts.

Partnerships cannot be built just by delivering products on time and sending invoices quickly.

Johannes Turunen
Director, Domestic Sales and Product Groups
SKS Automaatio Oy


SKS Automaatio Oy is an electrical engineering specialist, operating in the fields of machine and equipment building as well as the processing industry. The company’s aim is to boost its customers’ profitability and competitiveness with the help of an extensive partner network, product and application expertise and an in-depth understanding of the customers and their needs. SKS Automaatio Oy is part of the SKS Group. Further information: www.sks.fi