Supply chain management by its very nature depends on relationships and connection. It‘s important to realize that relationships throughout the supply chain must be maintained for balance. Too much power and influence in any one partner may risk undermining the effectiveness of your supply chain.
1. The government
Relationships among businesses and all levels of government- state and local-are important as well. Government and regulatory bodies can provide restrictions and incentives, regulations and freedom, and roadblocks and opportunities for individual companies. They also provide venues for teaching and research and they can help create the environments that incubate consultancies and technology development.
2. Suppliers and Customers
Also called partnerships. It‘s important to maintain high trust, high communication, and mutually beneficial relationships with key suppliers and customers. There are some very successful merchants that are able to dictate prices, terms and processes to their suppliers by threatening to pull their business that‘s why creating and developing strong, positive relationships is a key to supply chain success. In an ideal supply chain relationship, both customers and suppliers get connected in ways that allow them to easily exchange
information, demand data, and the visibility of status. It also means linking information systems and jointly leveraging the potential for internet and other electronic communications. It means working together to reduce costs and improve quality and understanding capacities and capabilities.
3. Within the company
Internal partners (employees) – they should collaborate, be motivated, have shared goals and proper communication channels.
Before a company attempts to build good external relationships, it must first put its own house in order. You can‘t really develop open communication with others if your organisation is partitioned itself. Manufacturing and distribution need to work closely together. Both functions need to be plugged into what‘s going on with sales and marketing, sourcing, procurement and all other departments in order to make the supply chain successful. This means joint planning and joint problems solving by forming cross-functional teams.
4. Logistics Service Providers
Companies concerned with the flow of products and services between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet requirements of customers or corporations e.g. transport companies, internet providers etc. Building successful logistic service provider relationships is absolutely essential to their successful use. Open and full communications are vital from the outset, beginning with the evaluation and selection processes. Logistics service providers require constant effort and continued attention. The logistics service provider also needs to know about upcoming events, changes in strategy and new products and customers.
5. Consultants and advisors
There was a time when great care was taken to distinguish management consulting services from management advisory services. The distinction has faded with time but the implication is that advisers provide feedback and informed opinion and that consultants take a more active role. Consultants make decisions, acting on behalf of the client. They design and implement processes facilitates and systems – in short, they do the hands-on work. Consultants offer a diverse collection of different models as well as approaches to problem solving. Let‘s begin by trying to sort out some of the fundamental types. Services offered by consultants in the supply chain.
- Creating a conceptual, overall supply chain design.
- Designing a physical distribution network.
- Creating supply chain strategies for services and performance.
- Performance and practices, including for overall supply chain and for specific components (transportation, warehousing, sourcing and procurement, manufacturing integration, information technology, suppliers and customer relations).
- Across-the-board or targeted cost-reduction analysis and implementation.
- Transportation management analysis and improvements.
- Facility location, retrofit and upgrade and/or operations improvement.
- Software evaluation, selection and implementation.
- Training and education in supply chain management cash flow chain management concepts and components
- Supplier management programs
6. Software providers
Various systems used in supply chain management like inventory control systems, logistics systems etc.
7. Financial Partners
Many modern companies wholly outsource their financial operations. Strategic financial partnerships are helpful for example; they can monitor your revenue with greater focus than you might be able to do in-house. Dedicated finance professionals offers rock solid expertise in managing cash flow and are able to report your current revenue position readily and objectively. Also financial institutions that offer loans are helpful and important.