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Delegates at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in London were told to move the conversation away from spend and savings to build partnerships.
Geraint John, research vice president at Gartner, set out four steps to harness supplier innovation.
1. Develop stronger ties with innovation colleagues. “What role could you play in developing this outside-in-inside-out dialogue?” he said.
2. Listen to suppliers. “Listen to their proposals. Use joint action to move from listening to action.”
3. Don’t use innovation as a cover for cost cutting. “If you’re trying to innovate on products you can’t have a conversation about that and then bring in people who want to hit the cost reduction target.”
4. Invest in relationship-building capabilities. “We are talking about building trust between humans.”
The creation of ecosystems and partnerships was built into Johnson & Johnson’s model, said Luis Allo, the company’s global director of research and development for external technology innovation in consumer self care.
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