Colin Thornton, sales director at Lloyds TSB autolease, said the people within a supplier were key to everything.
They must understand what the business is aiming for, and know what their roles are within that aim, as well as having the opportunities to learn and grow.
With the right people in place, suppliers then need to understand the needs and expectations of customers.
Different industries have different needs, but firms must also be willing to tailor services to the individual requirements of each client.
Increasingly in working relationships, emphasis is being placed on key performance indicators, and often contracts include penalty clauses should such targets not be met, Thornton said.
It is no longer enough to have reliable day-to-day management – such performance is now expected, and failure to meet that expectation will undermine relationships.
The leasing industry is not known for its innovation over the last 30 years, but that is changing, delegates heard.