Collaboration must rule

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It comes as no surprise that a multi-billion dollar manufacturer has suffered inefficiencies within its supply chain. The manufacturing and selling of products is its business which perhaps led it take to a “Cinderella approach” towards its logistics and supply chain activities. So it is refreshing to hear Procter & Gamble (P&G) admit that its supply chain in the past “was not good enough” and that it has spent a lot of time, and millions of dollars, on reversing that trend (see p11).

Apart from the physical transformation of its supply chain, the most important thing that P&G realised was that it had to work with its customers to make life easier for them while still ensuring that its products look good on the shelf. P&G even sought customers’ views about improving its supply chain. It also has daily team meetings to ensure that all departments know exactly what is happening within P&G’s supply chain.

Equally, Hagermeyer UK has also recognised the importance of working with others. This took the form of gathering its 300-plus suppliers at a forum to outline major changes within its supply chain (see p6).

Both companies have recognised the benefits and major cost savings that collaboration can bring to their supply chains through efficiency, inventory being kept to a minimum and quicker delivery times.

That makes collaboration a must. n

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