The Importance of Supplier Collaboration
Supplier collaboration is a key to successfully executing a company’s supply chain strategy. Developing a close partnership with suppliers helps companies bring products to market faster and reduce the cost of materials and services. In addition, partnering with suppliers provides the opportunity to support smaller, local businesses and foster economic growth in communities that may be struggling economically.
However, implementing and managing successful supplier partnerships is a complex task. To achieve the full benefits of collaborative supplier relationships, companies must begin with clear goals and objectives, and develop a clear process for communication and collaboration. Additionally, internal stakeholders must be convinced that this effort is worth their time and resources. This can be a challenge, particularly for teams not traditionally working in cross-functional ways or for whom the value of supplier collaboration is not immediately apparent.
Strategies for Effective Supplier Collaboration in a Global Marketplace
Another critical factor is the quality of oversight. If the initiative is not staffed with individuals who are knowledgeable about the process, skilled in project management and committed to its success, it is unlikely to meet expectations. Finally, a thorough risk assessment must be conducted to determine how best to mitigate the risks associated with implementing a collaborative supplier relationship.
The most important thing to remember is that supplier collaboration is not just another procurement process. A true collaboration with a supplier gives a business access to their most valuable resource: people and ideas. It is also an effective way to establish a two-way street of assessment and feedback, which helps a business keep track of which suppliers are exceeding expectations and which ones need help.