Because modern supply chains are becoming larger and more complicated, and going global, many companies are realizing that collaboration with outside vendors is crucial to sustain performance and growth.
To some companies, collaboration means that partners frequently exchange ideas and information, usually directed toward a specific opportunity or problem. Members of the collaborating companies get together to share best practices, address concerns and generate solutions.
For example, a manufacturer might hold monthly meetings with its transportation providers to discuss rates, talk about capacity issues, and share demand data and projections for broad-level planning purposes. This type of loose collaborative relationship is a conventional or “weak” collaboration, and it carries only moderate levels of potential risk and reward for the partners involved.
In other supply chain companies, collaboration is seen differently. These companies tend to view collaboration more in terms of a long-term strategic venture, where partners synthesize planning, decision making and execution on an open-ended, open-subject basis, keeping each other’s desired outcomes in mind throughout. This is more of a “vested” or strong collaboration, where both sides have a financial interest in the outcome—and the risks and rewards of the collaborative venture are both real and shared.
One example might include a manufacturer synchronizing its product development and marketing functions with its partner’s packaging and distribution capabilities, and multiple members of partner organizations preparing joint forecasting and inventory planning to optimize total supply chain inventory.
One area where strategic initiatives can yield both short- and long-term benefits is staffing. Just as you would collaborate with any other business vendor to achieve success, creating a strong or vested collaboration with your supply chain talent partner can produce mutual success. How?
Supply chain talent is a valuable commodity these days, and the best way to keep your supply chain function operating is to have access to a pipeline of skilled professionals. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself falling into a reactive hiring pattern—waiting until you have a vacancy to begin recruiting, therefore losing money and productivity until it is filled.
Working with a strategic staffing partner creates a significant competitive advantage by helping your company anticipate the talent it needs and by working in advance to locate and hire them.
Your supply chain staffing partner should ensure your organization always has the right people in the right jobs at the right time. They should know how to identify the most effective candidate sources as well as how to create an efficient hiring process to facilitate sound hiring decisions.
Don’t believe us? Ask our satisfied supply chain recruiting clients. At ZDA Supply Chain Recruiting, we pride ourselves on creating and maintaining strong collaborative relationships with our clients to create joint success. Ask us for a reference any time!