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Supply chain collaboration should give channel louder voice

DHL has been musing over what business will look like in the future and has concluded that there will be much more collaboration between all players in the supply chain

Digital transformation is a concept that has largely concerned the internal operations at a customer but the need to remain competitive is going to force many users to take a closer look at the external relationships.

Supply chain ecosystems might not be a new concept to the channel, which has grown used to the 'e' word over the past decade as vendors talk up their collaboration networks.

but for many customers the idea of being more collaborative with their suppliers is one that has yet to be embraced as widely as itn will need to be if businesses are going to thrive in the future.

The encouragement to be more collaborative and consider the benefits that might come out of working more closely with suppliers comes from DHL, which has been producing material about the future of business over the last few months.

Its latest contribution to the debate looks at keeping a competitive advantage through the ability to, "orchestrate ecosystems - or business collectives".

“Within the next five years, ecosystem models will thoroughly populate the business world. How they will look is unclear, as no two will be or should be the same: the business collective is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What we do know is they will be highly agile and designed to compete faster, better and cheaper than ever before," said Damian Pike, vice president, innovation & transformation, DHL Supply Chain.

“Taken more broadly, the business strategy of the future follows one of two paths; either focusing on innovation or on
cost-cutting. Innovators will focus on new products and new business models like the business collective, enabled by technology and collaboration," he said.

“Cost-cutters will continue to focus on the status quo, but with the only real option to continue with business as usual, seeking ever scarcer ways of doing things better and more efficiently. Early adopters of the ecosystem approach understand this strategy presents further-reaching possibilities in the long-term, providing the means to tap the collective’s intellectual and physical capabilities for new ways of operating. Most business leaders would agree that the innovator path is the only real route to sustainable, long-term growth," he added.

one of the potential developments in the future is the emergence of learning platforms that provide businesses with the chance to pull together views from suppliers, customers and staff to come up with solutions to their problems.

For resellers the idea of talking to customers is not unusual but there are not too many of these learning platforms and so the option to communicate with a wider audience is likely to grow and become something that the channel will need to think about.

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