Oftentimes, supply chain professionals look for the first cost result, which is a big mistake. They need to consider the bigger picture and not just the present downturn.
The supply chain has lived through numerous transformations, from the dot.coms, various e-commerce forms, ERP transformation, outsourcing eras and other trends. Over the years, it has evolved from asset-based and decentralized to centralized. At times, it has invested in developing supply chain talent and cutting back on the others. All these prove that change is a constant part of it. This is when supplier collaboration becomes more pronounced.
To get through a major event or down cycle, it is important that you embrace supplier collaboration by adopting the language of business. This adoption helps the supply chain evolve to a different role, allowing business partners to deliver on a sustained basis and to meet today’s business challenges. It allows you to become focused and dexterous on solutions that will prepare your business for the future.
Supplier collaboration harnesses Big Data to enhance safety and productivity. Big Data provides supplier networks with greater data clarity, accuracy and insights, which leads to more contextual information shared across supply chains. How your business is visible in the market has a direct effect on your consumers, suppliers, and trading partners’ perception. Thus, you need to look at your training plans to determine if they are sufficient in meeting the needs of your complex network of stakeholders.
Supply chains with multiple teams within an organization should drive integration and alignment through cross-functional collaboration to bring the best ideas to surface. Keep in mind that collaboration should not be restricted inside your company only. Your relationship with your suppliers are also critical, not only during downturn, but always.