Blog posts tagged with Supply Chain

Partnering for Growth: Tap into the Power of Your Supply Chain

July 18, 2016 by Liz Fox

Small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMEs) face tremendous disadvantages vs. larger competitors — from financing to production efficiencies to distribution channels. But SMEs also have a secret weapon: their supply chains. Suppliers and customers offer a vast array of capabilities (intellectual property, talent, strategies, ideas) that can be leveraged into profits for your company — and theirs. For example, a customer in need of new material will often finance a small manufacturer’s R&D, especially if they can share the rewards with limited risk. If you’re a small customer in need of new components or materials, it can work the other way; a larger supplier might finance the required R&D and tooling, in exchange for a long-term contract. These partners — or others — might also offer as-needed production capacity, for seasonal demand spikes or unexpected orders. Unfortunately, for most manufacturers, “partnership” is an unfamiliar term. Only 25% of manufacturers report that their relationships with suppliers are “partnerships” in which they share resources, intellectual property, etc. Among smaller manufacturers — less than $25 million in revenues — more than half have a “buy and sell” relationship with suppliers. Relationships with customers are just as bad (or worse) (see Infographic). These low-value relationships

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