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Top 10 Blunders #2 – Failing to Collaborate

The silo mentality extends beyond individual organizations

A traditional us-versus-them mentality impedes supply chain coordination and its potential benefits. This transactional approach to relationships with suppliers and customers focuses on win-lose negotiations where one party bears the brunt of the supply chain workload and costs.

Mistrust ensues and communication between the parties is infrequent. As a result, critical information is not shared, and processes do not get integrated across organizations.

Short-term relationships become the norm with no opportunity to pursue joint supply chain initiatives. Instead, produce companies should adopt a relationship-based approach to working with suppliers and customers.

When suppliers and customers are viewed as strategic and essential to success, a longer-term perspective emerges. This promotes greater trust, increased transparency and communication, and collaboration between trading partners on supply chain planning and execution.

Each company can contribute its expertise and rely upon partners to take the lead when they have stronger capabilities.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.

Dr. Brian Gibson is executive director of Auburn University’s Center for Supply Chain Innovation and a former logistics manager. He is coauthor of Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective (10th ed.) and active in supply chain executive education, research, and consulting.