When done right, supplier collaboration can help companies achieve key supply chain goals like faster time to market, better quality control, and cost reduction. But, in order to reap the benefits of collaboration, both parties must have a long-term perspective and be willing to put in the effort needed for success.
The most common barriers to successful supplier collaboration include a lack of genuine commitment, a failure to establish a clear plan, and a tendency to get distracted. Buyers should commit to investing in supplier collaboration and make sure that every participant is aware of their role and responsibilities. They should also take a proactive approach to address barriers and set up regular meetings with suppliers to keep the lines of communication open.
Driving Innovation Through Supplier Collaboration: A Case Study
To maximize the benefits of supplier collaboration, it is important to engage suppliers early on in the design process. This helps to speed up innovation and bring products to market more quickly. It can also help buyers avoid costly mistakes and rework by tapping into the supplier’s expertise. In addition, engaging with suppliers allows buyers to tap into the latest technology and product design tools without having to build them in-house.
It is also important to keep communication with suppliers consistent and up to date. Buyers can do this by scheduling regular meetings with their suppliers or by using a software solution that consolidates and automates the procurement process from beginning to end, such as Jiga. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and can stay up-to-date with any changes or updates.