The delivery date of a new or revised product to the customer is usually very important in almost all industries because there is a risk of losing market share (postponement of the market launch date) and even if delivery commitments are not met, contractual penalties may be payable. Delay in delivery leads to additional costs that can only be partially passed on to the suppliers. In the automotive industry, the SOP (start of production) is an important milestone, for which for the first time all newly developed parts are required for the assembly of customer vehicles. If the supplier's parts cannot be delivered in accordance with the specification, a conflict develops between the automobile manufacturer and the supplier. A project termination is no longer economically viable at this point, so the project has to be renovated and measures to comply with the SOP have to be implemented. A stop in production at the automobile manufacturer should be avoided in any case for cost reasons.
The situations described lead to tensions between customers and suppliers and within the project team. In extreme cases, the supplier may face an existential situation. As a rule, there are no standard solutions, so that the uncertainty at the supplier increases and a feeling of threat develops among those involved. In this conflict situation, the cooperation is very emotional and is burdened with accusations of guilt, so that the actual factual issues are often neglected.