Internal Collaboration in Supply Chain Management

There has been much talk about collaboration in the supply chain, but it is usually emphasized on an external level rather than on an internal level.

Externally, collaboration entails partnering with suppliers or vendors to help provide goods and services for the supply chain.

But on an internal level, it is partnering with different teams across the organization to ensure the success of the supply chain operation.

In this article, we will explore three strategies to help build a culture of internal collaboration in your supply chain.


Why is Internal Collaboration Important in the Supply Chain?

These are some of the reasons to consider internal collaboration.

๐Ÿญ. ๐—˜๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ข๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€: When done well, internal collaboration between the different aspects of the supply chain, such as procurement and logistics, helps streamline the operations.

๐Ÿฎ. ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—–๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ: As the departments in your supply chain work together, they can improve customer satisfaction by ensuring improved outcomes.

๐Ÿฏ. ๐—•๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป: Many times, supply chain innovation happens internally rather than externally. When teams work together, they can develop ideas that propel the supply chain forward.

๐Ÿฐ. ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป: The level of internal collaboration in your supply chain can impact resource allocation, affecting your business.


What are the Challenges of Building Internal Collaboration in African Supply Chains

Although internal collaboration is a no-brainer, there are sometimes challenges that may come with the process.

๐Ÿญ. ๐—Ÿ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด: This can hinder the extent to which internal collaboration can function. Primarily because there is nothing to work with.

๐Ÿฎ. ๐—™๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜€: This is a tricky situation because departments and teams do have their equally important priorities. However, this could make it difficult to collaborate with other teams, especially when they are under pressure.

๐Ÿฏ. ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐˜€: Sometimes staffs may resist specific changes because they are used to operating a certain way.


Strategies For Building Internal Collaborations in Your Supply Chain Management

These are some notable approaches that will help in fostering internal collaboration.

1. Build Special Teams

Building special teams allows you to establish an environment or space compromising staff from different facets of the supply chains.

This way, they can work closely together and share information seamlessly. Building special teams also helps create rapport, especially in large companies.

This is because one of the reasons sharing information can be so challenging is because of the lack of familiarity.

But with special teams, especially with leaders or senior staff from each department, it becomes easier. As communication flows, it can always continue even after they separate.

2. Encouraging and Promoting Knowledge Sharing

It is hard to have an effective internal collaboration without communication and knowledge sharing. The procurement talks to the production team, who talks to the warehouse team and down it goes.

Many organizations shy away from this. Some promote competition, which is unsuitable for a supply chain seeking to grow properly.

By promoting and encouraging knowledge sharing, organizations can dictate the course of the culture. It ensures that staff know that effective communication is expected of them.

There are several ways to do this. It could be through team bonding exercises or through meetings where everyone is encouraged to talk about their departmentโ€™s progress on different processes and operations.

3. Hire With Core Soft Skills in Mind

When hiring, it is important to hire people who can integrate properly with the supply chain process. This means placing more focus on soft skills rather than hard skills.

Soft skills are often more challenging to teach. But when the staff is passionate about the supply chain process or operation he/she is being hired for, it is easier to learn what is needed on the job.

Soft skills you should look for include teamwork, communication, empathy, and others.

When you make soft skills a priority, it tends to avoid people who will destabilize the entire supply chain operations or, worse, make everyone uncomfortable.


Factors that Impact the Success of Internal Collaborations in Supply Chains

Some elements are responsible for the success or failure of any internal collaborative efforts. They include:

  1. Leadership Involvement or commitment
  2. Size of the supply chain management
  3. Tech solutions that promote these communications
  4. Culture of the supply chain or Organization
  5. The Job environment
  6. Training and development
  7. Incentives and Motivations
  8. Feedback mechanism
  9. Conflict resolution system or process