How Strategic Partnerships Can Optimize the Supply Chain

Countless thousands of inefficiencies exist, just waiting for someone — a good partner, who invests a sense of strategy and ownership into the business partnership — to root them out and streamline them.

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“No one ever washes a rental car” because people are often reluctant to put time, expense and effort into maintaining something they do not own. Where is the return on that investment?

When it comes to business and agreements between suppliers, manufacturers and retailers, it is no different. If you treat the relationship as purely a transactional one, your investment of time and effort may be lower in the short term. But, unlike a weekend car rental, a business relationship can last years. Over time, you get to know your customers and the other companies you work with and become intimately familiar with their unique supply chain challenges. No two companies are alike. This is why it’s important to treat every relationship as a partnership. Whether working with a customer, a supplier or a third party, it should always be how to make the relationship better, smarter, leaner and more optimized.

The results are always worthwhile — not only from a revenue perspective, but also from a sustainability standpoint. The business bottom line is important, but just as important is creating a greener and more environmentally friendly logistics infrastructure. And of course, as the industry works to recover from the challenges of the ongoing Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (which has increased driver shortages, caused backups at shipping ports and changed consumer shopping behaviors), pushing for greater efficiency is that much more critical.

For companies striving to optimize the supply chain by adopting a partner-focused mindset, sometimes it’s as simple as asking the right questions. How can we better manage inventories and forecast future needs so we can minimize costly pallet dwell time at retailer facilities? Can closed transportation loops be created to eliminate empty miles? Rather than blaming other companies’ processes for lack of efficiencies, what changes can we make to do our part?

The global supply chain is extraordinarily complex, with more moving parts than any machine. Countless thousands of inefficiencies exist, just waiting for someone — a good partner, who invests a sense of strategy and ownership into the business partnership — to root them out and streamline them. By doing so, you can create better value for consumers and a more stable future for the planet.

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