Supply chain collaboration: leveraging the potential of digital networking

Supply chain collaboration: leveraging the potential of digital networking

2. July 2021
Supply Chain Collaboration

More complex supply chains, increasing volatility in global markets, unforeseen events; There are numerous factors that complicate collaboration with partners along supply chains. In this context, there is often talk of optimizing “supply chain collaboration.” But what exactly is behind it? 

The term “supply chain collaboration” has various definitions and forms. In supply chain management, “collaboration” also stands for the digital networking of the value chain and the associated joint optimization of processes and workflows. This means that process optimization is no longer controlled centrally, but achieved through voluntary cooperation between partners.

Different forms of supply chain collaboration

The various forms of supply chain collaboration differ according to the intensity of the business relationship, especially in the breadth – and depth – of cooperation. In case of a low level of cooperation for example, the cooperation can be based on the fact that only the necessary data and information are exchanged via a central platform. In a more pronounced cooperation on the other hand, goals and standards are jointly defined and coordinated in a detailed way. Cooperation therefore takes place at both the operational and strategic levels. However, this type of cooperation requires long-term and close business relationships with a high degree of acceptance and trust.

Supply chain management platforms are suitable for making cooperation as simple and efficient as possible. They equip companies with the technological tools needed to bring partners together. In this way, a central place can be created that simplifies processes and workflows and makes information available centrally for all parties involved. This in turn means that companies can act in a very resource-efficient manner and exchange data and status messages in real time.  

What are the benefits of digital networking for companies?

One of the main goals of digital networking is to reduce costs. Particularly with regard to the time factor, there is enormous potential for savings in cross-company communication. With the help of a central platform, these saving potentials can be exploited and the daily Excel and email madness can be reduced.

Since every company has different workflows, it is often difficult to merge processes. By digitally networking companies, the coordination effort can be reduced and unclear responsibilities can be avoided. Moreover, better networking also leads to achieving greater transparency and increased responsiveness.

In order for cross-company collaboration to work, it is not only the technological prerequisites that are important. Organizational and social aspects, as well as a fundamental basis of trust, are also often underestimated factors that represent important basic prerequisites, especially for long-term collaboration. However, if the prerequisites are then met by all parties, basically all participants can benefit from the cooperation.

The supply chain management software offers the advantage of being able to integrate partners through a cloud-based solution without high implementation costs. Via API interfaces, the platform can be connected to any system. The documentation of the processes is automated and the information and documents related to the supply processes can be retrieved quickly and easily. If you want to learn more about Supply Chain Visibility, Collaboration and Documentation, just visit one of our webinars or contact us directly. We look forward to an interesting exchange.

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