Backed into a corner? You can come out swinging!

Ashokk N Menon
November 14, 2023

I was brand new to the role.

I had some idea of what was required of me, and thanks to my predecessor, my only work was implementing a deal already put in.

Plus,thanks to how some deals get done, 90% of my volume was with one supplier.

So,when that supplier reneged on our contract, I was lost.


I was the new kid on the block, and just had the entire carpet swept out from under me.

I was "Gobsmacked," as my boss - who was also new in his role - put it at the time.

Meanwhile, our CFO's emails were sounding more and more impatient and demanding.

I had to dig in and find out how something like this could have happened.

I trolled through emails, proposals, internal documents, the market landscape,key players, customer preferences, supplier site visits and the build up to the current situation...

Then one detail started to emerge ...

While the supplier was a dominant one, we were also a relatively dominant customer for a few of their sites.

Pulling the plug on them would have meant job losses and site closure for them...

Losing us as a customer would have forced them to restructure.

The rumour mill was buzzing... They were looking to sell...

Knowing this helped open up the conversation.

It turned what felt like a hopeless loss into an opportunity.

About the Author
Ashokk N Menon

For more than 20 years, Ashok has led procurement both in industry and as a consultant. In executing over 100 projects for global brands, he discovered a passion for developing the talents of people early in their procurement careers and unlocking significant benefits for companies and executives