Supply Chain Collaboration Continuing to Emerge as Strategic Imperative


A recent post on discusses a number of points from a Deloitte survey of manufacturing and retail executives on supply chain risk. This one jumped off the screen: “Lack of acceptable cross-functional collaboration was the greatest challenge to effectively manage supply chain risk. In other words, since collaboration is at the heart of building stronger relationships, it is also at the heart of effectively managing supply chain risk.” In today’s increasingly complex, networked global markets, perhaps the greatest risk is posed by ignoring the strategic role of collaboration.
The blog points out that despite the current focus on supply chain collaboration, an understanding of that role is lagging in some sectors. They point to a recent survey by consultants, Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) that shows only one of five CFOs view their company’s suppliers as strategic partners. Who let out the dinosaurs in those boardrooms?
Given today’s business environment, lack of collaboration across the supply chain is a significant barrier to success. When groups and individuals are “siloed” by systems that fail to communicate, the flow of information and data across the supply chain breaks, resulting in fractured decision making and greater risk. By synchronizing the activities of suppliers, partners, and customers, collaboration maximizes supply chain performance while driving down risk. Fortunately, technologies that enable greater collaboration are becoming increasingly accessible and prevalent.
Cited by Supply Chain Standard, Gartner indicates that 70 percent of high-performing companies will manage their business processes using real-time predictive analytics or extreme collaboration by 2016. "Human or automated actions can be initiated for proper decision making to achieve the desired business outcomes,” says Jim Sinur, vice president, research at Gartner. “If the situation dictates, knowledge workers can collaborate in and around the process, case, or instance to decide on and effect change.” In markets where accelerating change and volatile demand is increasingly the norm, having this ability is a key advantage.
Increasingly, it is clear that supply chain collaboration will be a central practice of those companies that do have solid programs in place.
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team


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