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Published: Oct 14 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

What do Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Pot Noodles, Persil, Dove soap and Marmite have in common? They are all made by Unilever. What does Unilever and Tesco have in common? Dave Lewis, Tesco’s current boss, spent most of his career at Unilever before being poached by Tesco. What does all of this have to do with negotiating? Well, having been in a stand-off that threatened to damage both parties, heads were banged together on Thursday 13 October and a deal was done. We at Scotwork have constantly maintained that external factors are the most common cause of the kinds of conflicts that need negotiated solutions and what happened between Tesco and Unilever is a classic example. External factors do not come much bigger than Brexit...

Published: Oct 15 , 2015
Author: Tom Feinson

Tesco’s travails over the last few months are many and varied. Recently they topped a grocers code adjudicator list for supplier complaints an in a recent survey only Iceland received a lower score from its suppliers, it must be cold there. For those that operate in this environment I imagine that this comes as no surprise and to be honest in my experience Tesco are not markedly worse than any of the Big 4. They all appear to operate on the basis that they have all the power and they can break and fix supplier relationships at will but is the worm turning?

Published: Oct 16 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

This week the 2014 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Professor Jean Tirole for his writings on the regulation of large corporations. Professor Tirole made his reputation largely on his work about Game Theory; his book (with Drew Fudenberg) called Game Theory is not an easy read. Densely packed with mathematical equations the book tries to explain the behaviour of individuals in a market who make decisions based on their expectations of how their customers, suppliers and competitors are likely to react in the future. Even the first example in the book, which describes how a pie manufacturer would use Game Theory to choose how to set his prices in the market for one single day, would make most people’s head spin...

Published: Oct 03 , 2013
Author: Stephen White

Big business has been on the losing side of a number of small skirmishes recently. Two recent examples. Two days ago Tesco lost a planning application to open a supermarket in the town of Hadleigh, Suffolk after local businesses raised £80,000 to pay for top advisors to present their case. And yesterday the village of Tecoma 20 miles outside Melbourne Australia, hit the international news in their fight to stop McDonald's opening a local branch.

Published: May 30 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

I have been struck this week by the resolute nature by which an elderly lady in Wales has stood firm in the face of massive pressure from some of the UK’s largest companies, and just how difficult it is to engage when the other side are simply not interested. Bit of background....

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The Power of Adjournments

Anjana – a sales leader with an IT firm – is busy preparing for negotiations with a large bank on renewing her firm’s contract with them. Given it is a decent sized deal, Anjana has been preparing for these negotiations over the last several days by interlocking with the account delivery teams, getting buy-ins from the senior leadership & CFO on commercials, getting a handle on the likely strategies from the competition etc. It is no surprise, given the rigour of her preparation, that Anjana was feeling confident about her meeting with the Client CIO.

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