In today's marketplace, innovation is the cornerstone of competitive survival. Few companies can go it alone and remain viable. However, fostering innovation with suppliers through collaborative support and trusted relationships is no easy task. Innovation for any company represents potential revenue and leverage over competitors. It's time to dismantle the barriers to collaborative innovation and consider the value proposition and return on investment that is attainable. It's going to require giving and taking from both sides. However, the results may transform how the supply chain collaborates, and bring solutions to the marketplace.
Chris Thoen, former managing director, global open innovation office for Procter & Gamble, now senior vice president/global head, science and technology, at Givaudan Flavors Corporation in Cincinnati, says the future of competition is not going to be how well organizations create innovation on their own. Those that win in the future will be good at finding innovation, no matter where it is happening - internally and externally. "You must be good at creating a comfort zone so that external partners will want to work with you as a company, on an ongoing basis," says Thoen. "It's about establishing those sustainable relationships where you can create new innovations over and over again with those partners."
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