Collaboration Takes Many Forms

June 28, 2012
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Speaking to North American Wholesale Lumber Association about transportation trends, I discussed transportation within the broader context of supply chain management. This facilitates thinking more strategically, longer-term and bigger picture.
The topic of transportation typically gravitates towards a more transactional, rate-focused viewpoint. Rates are important, no doubt, and easier to measure than thinking strategically is. Collaborative partnerships can be an even bigger stretch. However, collaborative partnerships, if you can establish them, are becoming an important competitive advantage.
True collaborative partnerships allow shippers to access valuable resources that might not be available to them otherwise. Accessing relevant resources when you need them, without having to staff them with full time employees or bear the fully-loaded long-term expense, is a positive and practical solution in supply chain management.
Your organization’s prospects for success will increase as your ability to access these resources through collaborative partnerships improve. I found this out firsthand while joining Secretary of Commerce John Bryson on his first trade delegation to India. The commerce and trade personnel, who are U.S. government employees, are also a resource to your organization and your supply chain.
In New Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai, the trade mission delegates were greeted with great respect and enthusiasm as Indian business members and government leaders sought ways to align and form partnerships with the experienced industry experts, and successful U.S. organizations. Forging relationships like this is good for the long-term health of all parties involved.
These days’ collaborative partnerships are being defined and developed by many organizations – and not just when looking at opportunities abroad. How much more effective could you be if you had a dependable partner with more of the right resources to support your success?

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