3 Types of Collaborations in Supply Chain Management

Empty road and containers in harbor at sunset

When you want to get the most out of your supply chain, you need to make sure you have effective collaboration that allows all parties to share relevant information in real time. It might seem a bit complicated at first, but there are three levels of supply chain collaboration.

1. Transaction Integration

Level one involves computerization of general business activities and transactions. For these functions you can use the Internet, electronic data interchange (EDI), or proprietary software tools. At this level you and your supply team members exchange the following data:

  • Sales orders, work orders and purchase orders
  • POS details
  • Credit and debit notes
  • Invoices
  • Incoming and outgoing payments

2. Supply Chain Management Information Sharing

At this level, you will be sharing information with your supply chain members using the Internet, EDI or proprietary software tools. Types of shared information include:

  • Production and transportation plans
  • Production forecasts
  • Bills of materials
  • Orders
  • Product details
  • Inventory
  • Prices and promotions
  • Product availability
  • Contract terms
  • Allocations

3. Strategic Collaboration

Finally, we come to strategic collaboration. At this level, you and your supply chain partners will be collaborating on planning and redesign processes, and you will usually be sharing some risk and reward. You will be making joint decisions on:

  • Improving forecast accuracy
  • Improving supply chain relationships
  • Increasing profitability
  • Resolving critical supply chain events
  • Improving sales
  • Managing procurement and fulfillment
  • Pricing plans

If you feel you have not attained a high enough level of supply chain collaboration, consider reaching out to an expert about how you can expand. If you’re looking for ways to improve your supply chain and distribution, contact our expert team at I.B.I.S. We have been providing products and services since 1989 and are committed to helping you grow your business, reduce cost and increase margins.

Russell Goble

Article written by

As the Director of Industry Solutions, Russ directs product vision, engineering and product management for the Advanced Supply Chain Software solution (ASCS). Leads partner channel engagement and insures that I.B.I.S. and Sonata are the premiere Microsoft Global Independent Software Vendors (GISV) for distributors, retailers and manufacturers. He has nineteen years in enterprise software, eleven of those years enabling customers to succeed with vertically focused Dynamics AX solutions. Russ resides with his wife and 3 children, enjoying grilling, raising those kids, and having uninterrupted conversations with his wife after they go to bed.

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