How Supply Chain Can Woo Marketing

Are Your Supply Chain and Marketing Departments Collaborating?

PurchTips Edition #351 Click here for the printer-friendly version

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When they succeed, marketing departments typically get a lot of respect from senior management. By collaborating and aligning with Marketing, a supply chain department can raise its own profile in the organization. Here are three ways that Supply Chain can woo Marketing into a collaborative relationship.

  1. Demonstrate how Supply Chain supports the competitive advantage that Marketing promotes. A good marketing department will communicate to consumers the organization’s competitive advantage – the reason to choose the organization over its competitors. If the desired competitive advantage is quality, Supply Chain can influence quality by doing business with the highest quality suppliers. If the competitive advantage is low cost, Supply Chain can use sourcing, negotiation, value analysis and other cost reduction practices to help reduce what the organization can charge to its customers.
  2. Show how Supply Chain helps Marketing deliver on its promises. Marketing creates expectations in customers. But, if there are supply chain problems, the goods won’t be delivered or the services won’t be performed when customers expect them to be. Supply Chain contributes to satisfying customer expectations and keeps performance dependable.
  3. Provide Supply Chain fuel for one of the hottest Marketing angles: CSR. From Starbucks putting “ethically sourced” on its coffee bags to Apple’s highly-publicized annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Reports, organizations look to appeal to consumers and enhance their brands by promoting their corporate social responsibility (CSR). You can’t have CSR without supply chain social responsibility. By ensuring that purchased goods and services are free from slave or child labor, environmental hazards, conflict minerals, unsafe working conditions, and other law and ethical violations, Supply Chain assures an organization’s customers that they are doing business with a socially responsible partner. That’s especially critical when your customers have CSR obligations to their customers.

 

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Copyright 2016. This article is the property of the Next Level Purchasing Association and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Click here to request republishing permission.

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

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