The supply chain industry is, at its heart, all about building and taking advantage of relationships with your suppliers. When you can do those two things effectively, so many other aspects of your efforts fall into place with ease, so it’s important to prioritize those dealings in everything you do.
The tips below could help you get a better handle on all these issues and bring both yourself and your partners to better outcomes in the near future:

1) Realign your organizational goals
Perhaps the easiest way to improve cohesion between yourselves and your partners is to think about the ways you can find common ground in what you’re trying to achieve, according to Supply Chain Digital. While you may have many differences between you, aligning the aspects of your business that are generally focused in the same direction could help you build better connections.

2) Put expectations in writing
Once you know what you’re trying to achieve together, it’s important to codify your expectations for each other, Supply Chain Digital advised. There are all sorts of issues that can arise to knock your organization off course – and that’s also true for your partners – but being able to refer to an agreed-upon document could help you right the ship more effectively.

Coming to terms on collective expectations can be a boon for all involved.Coming to terms on collective expectations can be a boon for all involved.

3) Take a closer look at IT and data tracking
The amount of data you could potentially collect on your operations is significant, according to Flexis. If you’re not doing that, it’s important to make the right investment steps now so you can identify issues that might be holding your company back from achieving collective goals.

4) Work together to spot problems in advance
If you and your partner aren’t holding up your end of the bargain, that’s one thing, but if a problem arises that you didn’t foresee, it’s another issue entirely, Flexis said. For that reason, both you and your partners should strive to identify potential challenges based on historical evidence, so you can find solutions to sidestep them before they derail your efforts.

5) Bring as many partners under the same umbrella as you can
While you can certainly seek a patchwork approach to these efforts with all your different suppliers, it can be a better idea to bring several or more under one agreement so everyone is aware of the efforts you’re trying to undertake, according to Raconteur. That way, you don’t need to constantly consider how one agreement affects another, and can get everyone on the same page.

6) Share data and collaborate on projects
If you’re trying to make sure everyone works in concert more effectively, sharing whatever data you collect and coming together on new initiatives is always a good idea, Raconteur noted. That way, you and everyone else are constantly aware of how things are going, and able to find ways to make all of your operations better and more aligned with your overall goals that you set as a group.

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