Webster Dictionary defines collaboration as: “Working with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” In the business world everyone is required to collaborate and does - or do they?
Whether intentional or not, most people, and therefore businesses, do a terrible job of collaborating.
First of all, we need to agree that collaboration needs to take place both internally (within your business) and externally (outside your business with vendors, customers and government).
We all start off with great intentions driven by:
- yearly company kick off meetings and vision statements,
- customer negotiations,
- vendor agreements, and
- a long, winding road paved with great intentions!
Then, the real world sets in and reality takes its ugly toll.
Collaboration requires visibility and communication: there is no collaboration without it.
How do you execute on these 2 requirements? These are requirements for success – not just lofty goals and objectives. Without the right tools you will not be able to meet these requirements. Not meeting these requirements will result in failing at collaborating internally with your employees and externally with vendors and customers.
The most important component of any supply chain is collaboration. In order to achieve this you need a system that allows for constant communication, visibility, and real time data across your business. This translates to a system that will allow internal and external communications quickly, accurately, and easily.
Collaboration functionalities can include:
- automated (triggered) workflows extending outside your four walls,
- mobile applications,
- apps, and more!
If your software system is not capable of deploying and managing a global supply chain using modern methods, or is not designed to extend and change based on new functionality requirements or business needs, then you are not collaborating.
Once you have arrived at this conclusion, you need to identify your collaboration requirements based on your present and future supply chain needs. Then you must search, acquire, and implement a complete, integrated software solution.
Dominic Telaro, CFPIM, CIRM is Director of Industry Solutions for I.B.I.S., Inc. Telaro has spent half of his professional career working for distribution and manufacturing companies in their operations. He has held jobs from Master Production Scheduler to Production and Inventory Manager to Director of Materials Management. In the software and consulting industry, he has been VP of Sales and Marketing for both software and implementation consulting companies.