Until recently, companies were driven to closing off and protecting their supply chains. Now the drive is for collaboration.
Indeed, in a recently supply chain trend analysis, Gartner has focused on "co-opetition," in which partnering with potential competitors can be a transformational differentiator.
Because this collaboration requires a new approach to policies and business processes, adoption has been slow. But, the benefits are irresistible, from reduced risk and cost saving to easier expansion into new markets. By "setting up shop" through integration and collaboration with suppliers and customers you can instantly add or remove capabilities based on an agreed global standard.
At the highest level of collaborative maturity, we see organizations taking full advantage of today's communications and analytics technologies by fully integrating suppliers and customers into the core supply chain through a common architecture, such as a portal via Cloud technologies or rolling out a standard interface to suppliers and customers. It allows all parties seamless, end-to-end visibility of relevant supply chain processes and movements, and facilitates the collection of data for after-event reporting and management, forward-looking predictive analytics, and, of course, smarter supply chain decision-making.
As you lay the foundation for a more integrated, collaborative supply chain, first engage with suppliers and customers to ensure everyone is ready to participate.
With universal buy-in, begin modularizing, standardizing, and integrating each supply chain component, starting with something as basic as agreed-upon definitions of key terms like open purchase orders, late delivery, and damaged goods.
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