Spotify and Uber revolutionised the ride-hailing experience by partnering to give riders the power to control their journey’s soundtrack. Highway to Hell, anyone? This collaboration not only created a personalised experience for customers, but highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships in today’s business world. Here, James Chester, technical director at systems integrator Technidrive explains the value of strategic partnerships in manufacturing and to ensure your supply chain is less Highway to Hell, more Stairway to Heaven.
Supply chain disruption has become a pervasive challenge for businesses worldwide. From geopolitical conflicts to inflationary pressures and climate change events, the sources of disruption are diverse and widespread. Unfortunately, it seems supply chain disruptions are here for the foreseeable.
According to a study by Gartner, 70 per cent of organisations view supplier relationship management (SRM) as a critical success factor for procurement. With greater visibility and control over the supply chain and improved supplier performance, you can ensure you are quids in and risk free. So, where should you start?
Firstly, manufacturers must establish trusted partnerships with their suppliers, contractors and systems integrators. This involves developing relationships based on good communication — and good communication is typically open, honest and collaborative. Consider not only how they can serve you, but how you can help their business too.
It is also important to look for a company whose expertise is tailored to your specific needs. For example, a good systems integrator should have proven experience in the industry, and should be able to provide references from satisfied clients.
They should also have the appropriate technical expertise to understand your project requirements, and preferably experience deploying systems in your specific industry. Take quarrying as an example. In this highly regulated sector, Technidrive has developed a strong reputation thanks to its innovative problem-solving solutions such as its jaw crusher unblock system.
Importantly, reliable suppliers will also have the necessary certifications, such as ISO 9001, and any standards that are unique to your sector.
Establishing strong geographic links
Location matters too. Manufacturers are increasingly recognising the benefits of shifting their supply chain towards reshoring and near shoring. Both practices have distinct advantages for manufacturers, including lower transportation costs due to shorter distances between the manufacturer and the site. Costs for shipping materials and finished goods are significantly reduced and of course, you eliminate any potential hiccups of overseas transportation.
Being strategically located in countries near your partners makes nearshoring a viable option to combat uncertainty. In fact, Technidrive was awarded premier partner status for WEG for this very reason.
If reshoring is not an option, trusted supplier partnerships can help businesses navigate complex supply chain regulations. In many cases, suppliers have expertise in navigating local regulations and can advise their customers on compliance requirements. This support can be particularly valuable for businesses that operate in multiple countries or regions, as regulations can vary significantly.
Harnessing predictive analytics and data visibility
Developing a holistic view of your entire supply chain should be the third step. After all, what good is a supply strategy without oversight of the entire network? To effectively manage supply chain complexities, manufacturers must be willing to leverage the latest technologies.
This includes the use of software to gain real-time insights into the network and deployment, AI-driven automation to reduce the labour associated with scouring through these datasets and data analytics to track inventory levels.
At Technidrive, our supplier partnerships enable us to collaborate with businesses to identify risks, develop contingency plans for projects, access resources, and develop mutually beneficial schemes. Like Spotify and Uber, these partnerships allow us to deliver an excellent, unique and personalised service. Sadly, we can’t promise Led Zepplin — unless you ask nicely.