Restoring Strained Business Relationships for Long-Term Agreements

Summary

A second five-year marketing agreement between a large producer of a commodity and a major trading house was at risk of being terminated. ENS advisers were called in by the producer to give process advice, prepare and rehearse the negotiating team. After the negotiation, the second agreement was signed by both parties.

Broken trust and strained business relationships

The client is the world’s largest producer of a certain commodity. They had negotiated a five-year marketing agreement with a major trading house for 95% of its production. A second five-year marketing agreement was also set to be implemented after the first one.

However, the managers of the trading house believed their directors made overly generous concessions with the client. They planned to recoup these through day-to-day bargaining over the term of the first agreement. When this strategy was discovered, trust between the two parties was broken and the possibility of a second five-year agreement became slim.

Training and prepping the negotiation team

ENS advisers were called in by the producer to give process advice, prepare and rehearse the negotiating team. The content of the renegotiations was complex and spread over a span of 18 months. Since the parties involved were major corporations, there was also intense scrutiny from both the industry and governments.

Aside from the key role ENS played in developing the strategy for the producer, ENS was also integrally involved in the negotiations, gave process advice and ensured the quality of preparation of the negotiating team. ENS also provided on-demand coaching, supervised rehearsals and conducted simulations in different parts of the world.

Effective negotiators who deliver great outcomes

ENS was able to enhance the negotiation skills of the individuals on the client’s teams and also gave recommendations for the resolution of disagreement during the course of the agreement. These recommendations were written into the final document. After a few revisions to incorporate the terms agreed upon during the negotiation, the second agreement was signed to the benefit of both parties. ENS services were retained and utilised in the subsequent third and current five-year agreements.

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ENSI Team