Is Supply Chain Collaboration A Viable Option For Small Business?

It is very common for small business owners, and this includes small to medium-sized companies, to see specific trends in production cost reduction as only applicable to large companies.

These small business owners may see the ideas and options available to large businesses as simply too complex or too time-consuming to be effective and efficient for a small business with limited funds, staff, and expertise in specific areas, such as supply chain management.

A great example of this concern with small business owners is the viability and actual benefits of supply chain collaboration. Many see this as a labor and time intensive process with the need for complex discussions, interactions and negotiations between all partners in the supply chain and the businesses interested in collaborating to reduce prices and boost efficiency.

Stakeholder Buy-In

For small businesses, as well as all partners in the supply chain, buy-in will be a factor to make supply chain collaboration a success. This can be very time and energy intensive, not to mention complicated, if the technology is not considered a top priority.

By using software to allow immediate, real-time and precise information to be accessible to all stakeholders, discussions can be streamlined and focused. With the software’s ability to play out various scenarios, everyone involved can see the benefit of collaboration and how it will impact his or her company and step in the supply chain.

Performance Indicators

Another critical aspect of supply chain collaboration software is the ability for all stakeholders to have a shared understanding of the performance indicators obtainable through the collaborative effort.

As the software can be used to track and report as well as coordinate workflow and activity, partners in the collaboration can monitor and evaluate their performance and the performance of the entire supply chain, leading to greater insights and potential benefits with mutually agreed upon improvements and modifications. This will have a benefit to the small businesses involved, allowing for potential improvements to increase reliability and to even handle exceptions in real-time to keep the supply chain optimized.

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