Supply chain collaboration takes center stage


There seems to be an increasing focus on supply chain collaboration in terms of research, articles, etc. Here’s new research on the topic at ThomasNet. There’s also a detailed review of Boeing’s supplier collaboration model related to the new 787 Dreamliner airplane here.

The ThomasNet article highlights new research by CAPS Research that “found managers are spending more time evaluating supply-chain-enabled business models, but most have not fully grasped the nature of collaboration or the concept of what it takes to achieve a true collaborative capability.” The article goes on to provide insights into best practices.

It’s not suprising that supply chain collaboration is taking center stage. Companies continue to outsource at a fast pace. This is creating more globally distributed, multi-enterprise supply chains at a time where demand volatility and the pace of product innovations are at an all-time high. The result is an environment where coordination and the ability to respond to change are at a premium. This can’t be accomplished with an arms-length relationship with partners.

Brand owners must become more actively engaged and take a more holistic view of their partner relationships to succeed. Gone are the days of simply focusing on partners to reduce costs. The market dynamics demand brand owners excel at both cost management while being swift enough to capitalize on changing market conditions and new opportunities. This can only happen through coordinated efforts with supply chain partners – efforts that place a premium on win-win scenarios, that empower people with the information and tools they need to rapidly make course corrections to deal with the inevitable unexpected events that come up daily.

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