Every colleague, team, company is part of an ecosystem. In a web of customer-supplier relationships. Receive something. Add value to it. Pass it along. It is an approach shared by both customer and supplier. What’s the German approach?


Consult vs. Serve

The Germans prefer consulting over serving. To consult the customer, to consult with the customer, is to work auf Augenhöhe, literally at eye-level, with the customer. The German people instinctively reject any form of master-slave business relationship.

And, the German customer prefers a supplier, consultant, vendor who insists on a business relationship auf Augenhöhe. Germans don’t want to be served, they want to bbe consulted, by an expert, at eye-level. It is a shared logic. All companies are both customer and supplier.


德国人喜欢咨询而不是服务。咨询客户,与客户一起咨询,就是与客户一起工作auf Augenhöhe,实际上是与客户平视。德国人本能地拒绝任何形式的主-奴商业关系。



Customer-Supplier Collaboration

In Germany two parties enter into a dialogue about matching a concrete request to the approach of the supplier. The what is then defined and agreed upon.

Once this dialogue is completed, there is limited input from the customer about the how, about the actual execution of the request. Responsibility for the how is transferred from customer to supplier.



一旦对话结束,客户对 “怎么做”,即对请求的实际执行的投入有限。对 “如何 “的责任则由顾客转移到供应商。


Customer-Supplier Expectations

The German customer expects the supplier to complete the requested task correctly and expertly, meaning almost without error. The task is to be completed within schedule and budget.

These boundary conditions should be negotiated and held to as precisely as possible. Germans, however, will sacrifice schedule and budget in order to receive the product or service they ordered.