An incumbent in business most commonly refers to a leader in the industry. A company may, for instance, possess the largest market share or may have additional sway within the industry. As such, incumbents in an industry may change in response to changes in the market.
In relation to business operations and competition, an incumbent supplier is usually the supplier who currently supplies the needs of a customer and therefore has an advantageous position in relation to maintaining this role or agreeing a new contract in comparison with competing businesses.
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