The role and value of supply chain partners

The role and value of supply chain partners

The common phrase that “two heads are better than one” has been applied through the years to highlight the value and power of bringing the knowledge, expertise and collective problem solving capabilities of teams of people  to make better decisions and accomplish tasks more quickly, and completely than is possible by doing it alone.  The role and value of supply chain partners  is also founded on this concept that “two heads are better than one” with each partner contributing its unique expertise and  value proposition to help solve complex supply chain challenges for customers. 

This collective goal achievement, and process improvement approach, most definitely rings true in today’s rapidly changing and disruptive global supply chain planning environment as businesses work to become more agile and resilient in responding to the rapid pace of change by leveraging data and technology to support process improvements to meet customer expectations and remain competitive in the global marketplace.

The speed of disruption, the increasing complexity of modern global supply chains and the expanded  capabilities of the digital supply chain  technologies available today, are all combining to increase the value that professional supply chain and technology consultants/advisors bring to businesses. 

The expertise and experience of key supply chain consulting partners  are often instrumental in helping Executive Leadership teams define their strategic objectives, re-engineer their businesses and successfully implement/adopt the new technologies within their global enterprises to compete and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Leveraging the expertise and guidance of supply chain  partners

Software and technology providers want to make sure that their clients can maximize the value and success of the investments that their customers have made in their solutions and assure that the customer can achieve the strategic objectives they have outlined for the business.  This is where the true value of Supply Chain Partnerships and Alliances becomes a reality  with strong consulting organizations, system integrators and sales agents working together to deliver success to a customer.  This collective expertise can bring a “two heads are better than one” approach to delivering the most impactful and successful business transformation solutions to the client.  Having a strong ecosystem of supply chain partners that bring “value added” services to support the success of clients is a key element of delivering maximum value, minimizing the risk and removing the “speed bumps” often associated with the roll-out of new business processes and systems.

Key value drivers of supply chain partnerships

A strong Supply Chain Partner ecosystem of consulting partners, Implementation/Integration partners and Sales Partners brings a host of key value drivers  to most enterprise Supply Chain transformation engagements.  These key value drivers  are targeted toward topics that many of the C-Suite and Executive Leadership team members have identified as critical elements of all successful business transformation projects:

  • Change Management
  • Organizational readiness and design
  • Industry expertise and best practices
  • Training and Skill-set development
  • Business Process Definition/Design
  • Problem identification/clarification/prevention
  • Business case, ROI, and value proposition validation
  • Objectivity and a critical 3rd-party look at the business
  • Specialized Skills and Staff Augmentation
  • Minimized business disruption
  • Risk minimization/management
  • System Integration/Technology Skills
  • Global reach/scale

Why Supply Chain Partnerships are Important

According to a recent Gartner report, 87% of businesses have Supply Chain transformation objectives on their radar screens for the next 12-24 months  as a means to becoming more agile and responsive.  Whether it is fostering cross-functional collaboration, enhancing supply chain visibility, or improving the Sales and Operations Planning process – each business has unique challenges, cultures, skill-sets and systemintegration requirements.  Having an ecosystem of Supply Chain Partners that bring industry knowledge and value-added expertise to help address the unique challenges of each business, at each stage of their business transformation journey, is critical to maximizing the success of each project.  

Every Demand Planning, Inventory Optimization, Capacity Planning and S&OP/IBP initiative requires proper upfront planning, strategic alignment, Implementation support, training  change management and post-implementation support to be successful and maximize the supply chain technology investment.  The expertise and guidance of the professional supply chain partner is oftentimes the critical component of the “two heads are better than one” approach.  

It is the partner’s experience and domain expertise that typically  makes the biggest impact in determining the critical success factors of each project and outlining the best path forward  to  assure  that the business meets/exceeds its strategic objectives.  A strong and experienced Supply Chain solution provider, combined with the value added expertise of a strong and experienced ecosystem of consulting, system integration and sales partners, is a winning combination for all parties involved and lays the foundation for some very happy long-term customer relationships.  Two heads are better than one, and strong supply chain partnerships can bring some amazing  impact, value and success to the end customer!!

Jeff Livingston
Jeff is a Sr. Sales Executive at QAD DynaSys. He is a respected professional with experience in sales, VAR channel management, pre-sales consulting and implementation consulting. Jeff has strong domain knowledge across ERP and Supply Chain Planning solutions with deep experience in Demand Planning, Merchandise Financial/Retail Planning, Inventory Optimization, Supply Planning, Collaborative Planning and S&OP/IBP processes.