Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “Supplier Collaboration: Why It’s Vital To Treat Key Suppliers As An Extension Of Your Organization” from Kinaxis.
At seven pages – slightly larger than the whitepapers I tend to like to review – I thought that this whitepaper would have a number of “how-to’s” for supplier collaboration. Would it?
Well, let’s get to the review to find out…
The whitepaper starts out with a couple of pages on outsourced manufacturing and it’s expected continued growth. We all know that more and more manufacturing work is being sent to low cost countries, so let’s move ahead.
The whitepaper then says that results from outsourcing haven’t been as great as expected, with manufacturers “only” realizing 17% savings from outsourcing. The whitepaper also cited a report that indicated that there are other problems with heavily outsourced supply chains, including:
- lack of supply chain flexibility
- lack of internal competencies to manage external partners
- partners unable to meet flexibility requirements.
So what is the solution to these problems? Yep, you guessed it – better collaboration!
And not just tactical collaboration. Collaboration that goes beyond simply using the “initial collaborative tools of the tactical nature.”
So, then, what type of collaboration?
The whitepaper says that the desired type of collaboration involves “sharing business strategies, mutually investigating risks and threats, jointly looking at opportunities, developing and linking plans and targets … and treating key supplier as an extension of the business.” The whitepaper also includes a maturity model and tips on identifying the suppliers with whom you should have a collaborative relationship.
While this whitepaper doesn’t provide the holy grail of supplier collaboration techniques, the advice is solid, if not too high-level. If you’d like to check out the whitepaper for yourself, you can download a copy from Kinaxis’ website (registration required).
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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