October 29, 2021
Written by
Alex Short

Seven questions you need to answer before starting supplier collaboration

It’s now more important than ever for businesses to rethink their commercial engagements especially when it comes to the role that supplier collaboration will play in the future success of our businesses.

Stack of post its with a question mark in sharpie

Taking the plunge and committing to collaborative supplier engagements is not simple. In fact, it requires changing the very nature of your supplier engagements. Before you embark on your journey towards supplier collaboration, there are a couple of critical considerations that need to be understood to ensure your firm is in a position to begin this journey.

Organisations that are interested in improving the level of collaboration they share with suppliers should first ask the following questions of themselves.

1. Is your company familiar with and bought into the logic behind supplier collaboration?

2. Are you prepared to first negotiate the structure and nature of your supplier relationships rather than jumping straight into negotiating on price?

3. Is your organisation willing to open up parts of its operation that have previously been guarded in order to find solutions that will improve performance in these areas?

4. Is your organisation ready to alter its metrics for measuring success in supplier relationships?

5. Is your procurement team ready to share accountability for procurement led projects with your suppliers?

6. Are you ready to alter and refine the way that you and your team have previously engaged and communicated with suppliers?

7. Are you personally willing to act as a change agent to ensure this new mentality becomes instilled at your organisation.

Collaborative supplier engagements require total commitment for them to be a success. If you have any doubts around the questions above, it would be wise to work these concerns through within your business before embarking on the supplier collaboration journey. By addressing these considerations, you position yourself and your organisation for success

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