July 30th, 2016

Supplier Days: A Great Way to Jump Start Supply Chain Collaboration

Supplier Days: A Great Way to Jump Start Supply Chain Collaboration

It’s also no secret that supply chain collaboration, while invaluable, is something easier said than done. If this is something your company is endeavouring to master, a great place to start is with your direct suppliers. One way to get the collaborative ball rolling with suppliers is to host a supplier day (or a series of them). Let’s take a look at how supplier days can work and the benefits to be obtained from using them to promote supply chain collaboration.   The Objective of Supplier Days The main purpose of a supplier day is to host representatives from your direct suppliers at your plant or distribution centre, inviting them to take part in a one-day program of collaborative activity. During that day, you will offer a tour of your facility and present some information about how your business and supply chain operates. The remaining slots on the schedule would allow for one-to-one (or team-to-team) discussions between your team members and those of each supplier, to generate ideas and begin formulating plans for ongoing collaborative initiatives. Ultimately, the goal of a supplier day is to jump start supply chain collaboration by cementing relationships between individuals and teams, and identifying ways in which collaborative efforts can deliver add value/reduce costs within your supply chain.   Maximising the Value of Supplier Days In order to get the best from a supplier day, activities should be carefully planned. Aside from promoting collaboration, you can derive extra value from the event by tapping into the knowledge of each supplier. There is no better time to do that than while providing a day’s hospitality and giving them a close-up insight into your operation. Try to steer clear of discussions about pricing, but instead focus on how each supplier can help you to reduce operational costs and/or improve your product and service quality. To aid this approach, it can be helpful to revisit your factory or DC floor with each supplier and let them see how their materials/products are used or how they flow through your facility.   Tips to Aid Supply Chain Collaboration With Supplier Days Remember that a supplier day should provide value for the companies that you invite as well as for your own organisation. The following tips will help you to plan supplier days in a way that actively encourages supply chain collaboration: Listen more than you talk: The focus for...

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