April 19, 2018

6 steps towards achieving successful supply chain collaboration

If you’re looking to reduce lingering inventory levels and mounting costs, then supply chain collaboration, or utilising 3pl, is the way forward. Better yet, it helps to improve customer satisfaction levels, as well as retention rates. Coupled together, this leads to higher overall efficiency and healthier profit margins. As such, here are the six steps you’ll need to follow to achieve successful supply chain collaboration.

1. Choose your partners wisely

Before you select a partner to work with, make sure you do your research. Look at things like their existing infrastructure, reputation and the strategies they use. It’s also worth discussing their values and interests to see if your businesses align. You need to be sure that your chosen logistics partner provides a high-quality customer experience that lives up to your brand.

2. Collaborate by offering your expertise

A truly effective collaboration means all parties involved are actively interested in providing the skills and expertise they can bring to the table. Instead of expecting your partner to give, give, give; it’s time for you to set the trend and be proactive in assisting them.

3. Agree on a joint performance management process

Essentially, you want a set of performance metrics that you and your partner both accept and agree to. This will help you to both monitor effectiveness and ensure the highest levels of efficiency.

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4. Get the right tools for the job
What this step means is that both you and your partner have the right equipment, infrastructure and manpower to help you do your jobs. If not, then you need to invest in that now, rather than face problems further down the line.

5. Think long-term

You need to appreciate early on that effective partnerships are for the long-term, not the short term. This will help you to ensure you have effective processes in place well into the future that can support your business as it grows. Also, long-term collaborative supply chain relationships often foster innovation, leading to new opportunities and product ideas.

6. Focus on communication

No effective team is able to function without solid communication practices. You should both put systems in place in order to allow you to communicate effectively over time to seize opportunities and overcome challenges.

By taking the time now to implement these six steps, you can help ensure you have a truly effective and worthwhile supply chain collaboration not just for now, but also the long run. This is crucial if you are to grow and flourish together. By following each step carefully, you can help avoid any major issues that could arise and ruin your business further down the line.

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