Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Collaboration is Key to Successful Supply Chains – So Why Aren’t More Companies Doing It?

The biggest opportunity is operational: companies need operational processes that translate collaboration into bottom line supply chain performance.

By ·
By ·

Companies depend more than ever on collaboration with suppliers and customers, yet they’re terrible at it. According to a recent study from 3M, 70-percent of suppliers claim that half their customers do not have systems in place for collaboration – this leads to inefficiencies.

Only 43-percent of suppliers feel fully empowered to collaborate, and half have held back on strategic innovations because the customer does nothing to encourage or facilitate improvements. The result is unresponsive supply chains, particularly in the current economic environment characterized by volatility with unpredictable peaks and troughs of demand. Staying profitable requires finding new efficiencies.

The biggest opportunity is operational: companies need operational processes that translate collaboration into bottom line supply chain performance. Here are some operating techniques you can implement to try to manage to manage collaboration to ride the wave of demand uncertainty.

On-site assembly and inventory – Keeping a small store of finished or semi-finished product on-site is a powerful method that requires active collaboration to create flexibility and adaptability to customer demands. A widespread approach in healthcare and trade crafts, the method does require some skilled workforce and a degree of modularity.

Centralized planning/information, decentralized execution – Long a staple of military doctrine, this approach is a hallmark of Seven Eleven where store managers use local knowledge to make ordering decisions in the uncertain convenience store environment. The centralized information and analytics tools help store managers at the same time it more tightly integrates the supply chain.

Replace inventory with rapid replenishment – A staple case study in supply chain classes, the use of expedited transportation to reduce both pipeline and on-site inventories has yet to achieve its full potential as indicated by Amazon’s rapid expansion. Customers are willing to wait for a variety of products, particularly if the wait is only a day or two.

Refer customers to competitors – Not a first line of defense, but customers that see that you help take care of their needs are more motivated to return. After all, if you don’t have it but know where to find it, you preserve your role as the go-to supplier. And too many companies are oblivious about when customers order from someone else—you want to know when and why this happens.

Collaboration is a necessity in today’s supply chain and companies need to better embrace it in order to be successful. Managing your demand uncertainties may be as simple as asking your paid experts to offer their expertise.


About the Author

Michael Gravier
Michael Gravier is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Bryant University with a focus on logistics, supply chain management and strategy and international trade. Follow Bryant University on Facebook and Twitter.

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the September-October 2017
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing promise to simplify manufacturing, reduce inventories, and streamline operations. But, to determine when and how to apply additive manufacturing, organizations need a decision model that assesses it’s market strategy, supply chain performance, and complexity.
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Accenture’s Advice on Using AI to Succeed in the “New Business Process Era”
Whatever the driver, every industry can benefit from digital procurement
A Framework for Driving Change in Urban Mobility
Urban mobility architecture must undergo fundamental change in response to rapidly changing city...

New Trade Compliance Report Points to Continued Supply Chain Resiliency in 2018
The easing of key economic and political risks and the emergence of positive macroeconomic deal...
Supply Chains in Advanced Markets Should Become More Agile, Says Atradius
Higher inflation, falling unemployment, and strengthening Purchasing Manager Indices all suggest...