Role Requirements

These are the particular value attributes a customer requires from a supplier in a particular role in the customer’s relationship.

Role Requirement Examples

Example 1: In the late 1980s Goodyear’s exclusive dealers asked for a Price Leader product from Goodyear to counter the intense competition from Price Leader products in other channels, primarily from mass merchants like large tire chains, discount clubs, and department stores. Goodyear, not wishing to dilute its brand with the introduction of its low-end Kelly-Springfield line to its company stores, declined to offer a Price Leader product to its dealers. To remain competitive, many of Goodyear’s established dealers went outside the relationship in order to secure Price Leader product supply from small private label tire makers.
(Year 1989-SIC 3011)

Explanation: The Secondary Role Supplier to the Goodyear dealer had to offer a Price Leader product in order to penetrate the dealer’s relationship. These dealers required a special product to remain competitive.

Example 2: Wal-Mart reduced its marketing support for Rubbermaid merchandise. Rubbermaid lagged in developing computer systems that automatically replenished retailer supplies based on actual sales.
(Year 1995-SIC 3089)

Explanation: In order to be a Primary Role Supplier to the nation’s largest retailer at the time, manufacturers had to have the capability of offering automatic replenishment to the retailer.

Example 3:The cement market became more volatile in the late 1970s because suppliers failed customers as a result of the cement shortage. The effect of the cement shortage persists today, with customers refusing to commit to only one supplier relationship. One customer indicated that even though he already had three suppliers, he would send a few trucks to a new supplier just to start a relationship. The more relationships he had, the safer he felt.
(Year 1979-SIC 3241)

Explanation: The failure of the suppliers in the Primary and Secondary Roles to ensure customers of supply created the need for additional roles in many cement customer relationships. These additional roles were there to ensure supply of cement when the customer needed it.

Example 4:Pabco has been almost completely shut out of high-volume positions with Very Large customers because it is a smaller regional player and lacks the market stature that is a requirement to serve these customers.
(Year 1995-SIC 3270)

Explanation: Pabco has been largely shut out of high-volume positions with Very Large customers of gypsum. Because the company is a smaller regional player, it lacks the national distribution capability which is a requirement to serve this customer segment in Primary or Secondary Roles.

Example 5: In 1972, when Komatsu began selling its first two products in the US, bulldozers and wheel loaders, the company had no existing distributor network and was a Secondary Supplier to distributors that needed another supplier to fill out the product line. Komatsu teamed up with an independent dealership, WABCO, which sold scrapers that were not self-propelled and required a bulldozer to push them.
(Year 1972-SIC 3531)

Explanation: Komatsu was a Secondary Supplier to its Intermediary distributor customers. It offered those customers special products not carried by their Primary Supplier.