A key to success for supplier collaboration is the clarity of goals and objectives. The goals should be aligned to the overall business strategy of both companies. If this is not done, the initiative may be viewed as a cost rather than a value add. Additionally, if the goals are not ambitious enough, they will likely be viewed as unrealistic and will never be achieved.
Another key to success is good governance of the program. This includes a clear engagement framework, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and a disciplined approach to progress monitoring. This is especially important when the project requires significant resources and/or a significant investment.
The Art of Supplier Collaboration: A Strategic Guide for Success
It’s also important that participants demonstrate genuine commitment to the program. This can be difficult as the process is long-term and participants may be given new priorities or lose focus. A key to maintaining commitment is regular, compelling communications that illustrate progress. This will help ensure the project is top-of-mind for participants and can be used to solicit support or retain resources.
Finally, a real benefit of supplier collaboration is improved supply chain visibility. This is hard to achieve without seamless communication between buyers and suppliers. Modern supplier collaboration solutions bring buyers and suppliers together in software that consolidates communication and automates the entire purchase order (PO) workflow from beginning to end. In this way, all communication is tied to specific POs so that a buyer like Becky can see at any point in time exactly what the supplier has been doing on her orders.