Forging successful supply chain partnerships

Tom Sellin

By Tom Sellin Director of Business Development at King Solutions

Today’s supply chain is more complex than ever. Between emerging technologies and the entities that use them, there are many major players and methods of moving and tracking freight. Items must travel from manufacturers to warehouses, then to retail distributors and eventually brick-and-mortar stores.

This problem is compounded when you factor in the dwindling list of reliable carriers that must be maintained by shippers and manufacturers.

When you layer in e-commerce, the preferred shopping method of millennials, there is no longer a single way for consumers to obtain goods. This in and of itself has transformed the way in which supply chain partners interact with one another.

Keeping up with an ever-changing supply chain
All these moving parts and new technologies require close collaboration among supply chain partners. There’s just one problem: creating a successful supply chain relationship requires a large investment of time and resources, from all parties involved. This investment is exponentially increased when you consider the amount of entities that a single company must partner with in order to have a truly successful supply chain.

When these partnerships fail, and they often do fail, for reasons such as poor planning and lack of trust, the supply chain can become disrupted. To avoid these disruptions, and keep partnerships strong, it is important to remember a few key things:

People are the key to partnerships
Supply chains consist of many entities, but the building blocks of these entities are people. Too often do partners forget this. It’s not always about building a relationship between the companies, it’s about formulating a trusting relationship between people. Only when people work well with one another can their partnership succeed.

Both partners must give and receive
When one partner receives all the benefits of a relationship and gives nothing, you have a lopsided partnership that is guaranteed to fail. All parties must benefit from a relationship, and treating one another like vendors will only result in distrust and resentment. In order for both parties to benefit completely, both must also give.

Consolidate your partnerships
As we covered before, partnerships take time and resources to form. Sometimes, it’s best to partner with a single company that has a network much larger than your own. This is one of the key benefits of working a third-party logistics provider. 3PLs take the time and energy to form partnerships with warehouses, carriers and all the other members of the supply chain, all so you don’t have to.

Rather than spending time forming a partnership with multiple entities, why not let our network become yours. When you work with King Solutions, our partners become yours. Contact our team today to start forming a relationship that is sure to last.