Many companies use supplier collaboration to drive business value. Those that are more advanced with their collaboration will work through a central platform to allow for visibility through several tiers of the supply chain, and will enable machine learning to optimize performance. In a true collaborative model, the respective subject matter experts from both companies get to work directly with each other and not through the usual middleman. This can reduce lead times, improve the quality of information and communication between the two parties and ultimately improve delivery performance.
In order to be successful, the collaborative model needs to be well-structured and have clear objectives for both companies. It is also important to ensure that these objectives are aligned with the achievement of the overall business strategic goals. The engagement framework and the role of the executive sponsor are critical to the success of any initiative.
Building Stronger Relationships: The Key to Successful Supplier Collaboration
It is also important to pick the right suppliers for a collaborative approach. Typically this will be those that are already performing at a high level and have access to innovative R&D or unique technology. In addition, it is important to agree on the principles of gain sharing and to put a dispute resolution process in place.
Finally, it is important to regularly meet with your suppliers and to have a good relationship with them. This is to make sure that you can identify issues early on and address them before they have a negative impact. It is also important to provide feedback to your suppliers and to encourage them to do the same with you.