CAPS Research Study Explores Collaboration

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<p><strong>Tempe, Ariz. &mdash; Aug. 29</strong><br />Are companies turning the promise of supply chain management into real competitive advantages? </p><p>The findings of a new focus study by Stanley Fawcett, Ph.D., Gregory Magnan, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Ogden, Ph.D., suggest managers are spending more time evaluating supply chain-enabled business models, but most have not fully grasped the nature of collaboration or the concept of what it takes to achieve a true collaborative capability. </p><p>The authors state that supply chain collaboration remains ad hoc and fragmented in all but the most mature supply chain relationships, and companies are unsure how to piece them together into a coherent strategic plan. </p><p>Although some companies have caught the vision and are making great progress on their supply chain journey, others continue to be blinded by “business as usual” and are not prepared for the journey ahead. </p><p>The authors note that these companies must get their supply chain collaboration in shape quickly before the competition leaves them too far behind to catch up.<br /><br />To help companies better understand the forces that are driving changes in supply chain collaboration, the authors provide a three-step process to identify and compare the benefits, barriers and bridges to assess and communicate the viability of pursuing a path toward collaborative advantage. </p><p>The three stages are:</p><ol><li><strong>Introspection: </strong>The company&rsquo;s orientation and philosophy that consists of two building blocks: customer orientation and systems thinking orientation.</li><li><strong>Supply chain design: </strong>Consists of five steps: scanning, mapping, costing, competency/outsourcing management and rationalization.</li><li><strong>Supply chain collaboration: </strong>Practices employed to drive the transformation include relationship alignment, information sharing, performance measurement, people empowerment and collaborative learning.<br /></li></ol><p>This study&rsquo;s most successful supply chain companies took a balanced approach to supply chain collaboration. </p><p>They performed rigorous analysis, invested in relationships, measured performance, documented successes and promoted constant improvement and learning.  </p><p>The authors identified best practices and compiled them into a supply chain collaboration benchmarking diagnostic to help managers succeed in their supply chain journey. </p><p>Even the successful supply chain leaders found opportunities for victory by benchmarking their practices against the practices in this diagnostic.</p>

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