Buyers must meet suppliers where they are. And they must do it for dozens of suppliers who might each have their own approach and workflow for processing orders. This can be a mess for buyers, who routinely get bogged down in clerical work just to keep up with their daily purchase order (PO) tasks. It’s a mess, but it’s a mess with seemingly no way out for most teams. All they can do is roll up their sleeves and put in long evening and weekend hours to make sure everything gets done.
But times have changed, and with all the uncertainty surrounding the manufacturing sector, companies don’t have time to wait for updates, late shipments, or other costly delays. These supply chain organizations need true buyer supplier collaboration, and they need the right tools to get them there.
The good news is, in today’s high-tech environment, no business must continue on with costly, antiquated approaches. Technology makes it possible to achieve true buyer supplier collaboration. We’ll get to that in just a bit, but first let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of buyer supplier collaboration:
- Shared Goals and Objectives: Collaborating partners work towards common goals such as cost reduction, quality improvement, innovation, and supply chain resilience. Both parties align their strategic objectives to achieve these goals.
- Open Communication: Effective communication is crucial for collaboration. Buyers and suppliers share information about demand forecasts, production schedules, inventory levels, and potential disruptions. This transparency enables better planning and coordination.
- Mutual Trust: Trust is the foundation of successful collaboration. Both parties need to trust each other’s capabilities and commitment to the partnership. Trust is built over time through consistent performance and reliability.
- Joint Problem Solving: When issues or challenges arise within the supply chain, collaborators work together to find solutions. This can include addressing quality problems, supply chain disruptions, or cost overruns.
- Geographic Considerations: The location of suppliers can impact collaboration. Proximity can lead to closer relationships and faster response times, but globalization may require more advanced coordination and communication efforts.
- Supplier Selection and Evaluation: Choosing the right suppliers is crucial for successful collaboration. Buyers must carefully assess potential suppliers based on criteria such as capabilities, reliability, financial stability, and alignment with the organization’s values and objectives. Regular supplier performance evaluations are also essential to ensure that expectations are met and improvements are identified.
- Risk Sharing: Collaborative relationships often involve sharing risks and rewards. For example, suppliers may share the burden of holding excess inventory or invest in new technology to meet the buyer’s requirements.
- Continuous Improvement: Collaboration encourages a culture of continuous improvement. Partners regularly evaluate their processes, identify areas for enhancement, and implement changes to drive efficiency and innovation.
- Supplier Development: Buyers may invest in supplier development programs to help their suppliers improve their capabilities. This can include providing training, technology, or financial assistance to enhance the supplier’s performance.
- Long-Term Perspective: Buyer-supplier collaboration is often seen as a long-term partnership rather than a short-term transaction. This long-term perspective helps build stronger relationships over time.
And now, a look at a few of the benefits of buyer supplier collaboration:
- Risk Mitigation: When buyers and suppliers collaborate, they can assess potential risks, including natural disasters, geopolitical instability, etc.
- Better Communication: Collaborative relationships foster open, honest communication about issues that arise, performance, and how to work strategically to improve profitability.
- Cost Reduction: Collaboration can lead to cost savings through improved efficiency, reduced waste, and economies of scale.
- Quality Improvement: Joint efforts can result in higher product or service quality and consistency.
- Innovation: Collaboration often fosters innovation as both parties bring their expertise and ideas to the table.
- Supply Chain Resilience: Collaborative partners can better respond to supply chain disruptions and uncertainties by working together to find alternative solutions.Competitive Advantage: Collaborative supply chains are often more agile and responsive, providing a competitive advantage in the market.
Buyer Supplier Collaboration: How to Get There
You might be thinking, “This all sounds great, but achieving it sounds impossible.” You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that. SourceDay has the solution. Only SourceDay brings buyers and suppliers together so they can work closely on each PO, including acknowledgments, changes, and updates.
Every PO is managed by exception, so instead of long hours combing through emails and spreadsheets, users receive a notification when something needs attention.
And SourceDay delivers all this with practically no supplier onboarding. Whether they use email, EDI, or the SourceDay solution, suppliers can choose any workflow they want, while buyers manage everything from one platform.
Only SourceDay removes barriers to supplier communication and transforms relationships into strategic partnerships through supplier scorecards, standardized communication, and full supply chain visibility. With SourceDay, buyer supplier collaboration is within reach.
Ready to learn more about how SourceDay can improve your buyer supplier collaboration and bring everyone together? Drop us a line here and let’s chat about it.