The Guide to Successful Supply Chain Collaboration

According to Elisabeth Comere of Tetra Pak, there will be an estimated three billion people in the global middle class in twenty years. As a result, superior resource management and sustainability practices will stop being altruistic and start becoming mandatory for business survival. Comere offers five steps to building supply chain collaboration that sustains us all.

Five Steps to Making Friends

  1. Get commitment from the top.
  2. Bring the right partners to the table in a multi-party effort.
  3. Have broad representation and buy-in, internally and externally.
  4. Clearly articulate objectives and terms of reference.
  5. Provide sustainable funding.

The first item is an obvious one. Without the support of a big player like the CEO, your initiative will have no insulation from cancellation. When it comes to selecting partners, you should try to find people in the public or private sector who share your sense of risk and responsibility. Ideally, you want to find partners who already have a financial stake in the success of the initiative. In order to attract buy-in, you need a strong business case that produces clear benefits to core interests. Comere elaborates:

This is imperative to build buy-in with both external partners as well as internal decision-makers. The challenge in a multi-stakeholder process is to appeal to a range of perspectives. Success of collective models will depend on a two-way (or multi-way) dialogue which leads to stronger outcomes than those achieved through unilateral action.

 Then you just have to spell out how the collaboration will work, and make sure to provide sufficient funds to get the job done. At Comere’s full article, she offers multiple case studies to support her ideas. You can read her article here: http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/06/guide-successful-supply-chain-collaboration/

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