Supplier Collaboration

Buyer-Supplier Collaboration Is Key to Supply Chain Success

In the face of inflation and strong competition, buyers are under immense pressure to lower costs and improve efficiency with suppliers. Achieving this goal requires better inventory management, improved buyer-supplier collaboration, and the elimination of hours of clerical work and emails. It also means diversifying supplier bases that have been narrowed in recent years as buyers have sought increased quality and low pricing from a small handful of suppliers.

True buyer-supplier collaboration requires transparency, communication, and trust.

For buyers and suppliers to truly perform well as a cohesive team, they must be able to collaborate. That means building transparency, communication, and trust between the two teams. To get there, you’ll need a strong supplier collaboration solution.

Suppliers are more than vendors; they’re stakeholders in your success. Treat them as valuable partners by making sure everyone involved can see the same accurate data exactly when they need it. When everyone is in-the-know, they can collaborate strategically to improve supplier performance and eliminate misses before they become misses.

Access to transparent data is a great first step, but buyers and suppliers must also be able to communicate about the data. With a collaboration software, every PO and line change can be seen, notes can be added, and every stakeholder is pinged with updates as they happen. When buyers and suppliers communicate seamlessly, late orders can be avoided. Buyers can choose to work with a secondary supplier if issues arise. In short, this level of buyer-supplier collaboration means no more supplier misses.

With communication and clear, transparent data, trust is built between buyers and suppliers. Payments are made on time, price breaks are realized, performance metrics improve, and lead times are more accurate. This is a huge competitive advantage. Virtually every company struggles with supplier performance. Building strong collaboration lowers costs and improves performance in ways that your competitors can’t even dream of.

Strong collaboration means buyers and suppliers can work together to optimize the supply chain, reduce waste, and get rid of the heavy clerical workload. Forecasting and planning are made much easier, and risk is mitigated virtually overnight. 

One McKinsey survey shows that companies who collaborate with their suppliers experience stronger growth, lower costs, and higher profitability than their industry peers. If you want to get ahead, the time is now to build a system of robust collaboration between your buyers and suppliers.