Ecosystem value is no longer just about membership
Companies that leverage ecosystems to build new products and services could generate as much as US$100 trillion in value by 2028. Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) and Chief Operating Officers (COOs) have been a major part of this change, improving collaboration with external partners to better serve customers.
Yet, only one in 10 companies is seeing growth of 5% or more from ecosystems. It’s clear that participation alone is no longer an advantage—it’s table stakes. To create new competitive advantage, some supply chain leaders are choosing to be ecosystem orchestrators. They position their companies as the hub of the ecosystem wheel versus simply a spoke, which allows them to create greater value, faster.
Our experience shows supply chain leaders who focus on a few key areas to become ecosystem orchestrators maximize their chances of success:
What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is the network of cross-industry players who work together to define, build and execute market-creating customer and consumer solutions. An ecosystem is defined by the depth and breadth of potential collaboration among a set of players: each can deliver a piece of the consumer solution, or contribute a necessary capability.
The power of the ecosystem is that no single player need own or operate all components of the solution, and that the value the ecosystem generates is larger than the combined value each of the players could contribute individually.
A new lens on cost and agility
When orchestrating an ecosystem, CSCOs can drive consolidation for economies of scale and scope. That scenario increasingly means an asset-light supply chain. In industries where fast innovation is common, we’ve seen portable, modular manufacturing pods set up or changed over within 24 hours—essentially creating an entirely new manufacturing line in less time than it takes to ship product. An ecosystem is essential for making this happen.
Complementing that agility with a new mindset on cost, some supply chain leaders are adopting a zero-based approach (ZBx), to fund investments based on today’s needs rather than yesterday’s historical budget or balance sheet. Modernizing their own costs and funding approach first is essential, so they can lead ecosystem partners by example. It moves them from cost efficiency to differentiation with true cost competitiveness.
Want to invite collaboration? Use a common platform.
With a common platform, ecosystem partners can share data, scale assets up or down as needed, collaborate internally and externally, speed decision-making—the list goes on. It’s happening rapidly. Strategic partnerships between large companies and large platforms have increased 18-fold in recent years.
HP Inc. leaders have linked manufacturing and logistics partners and customers in its supply chain ecosystem with the Hawkeye control tower. This platform provides near real-time visibility to global shipments, predicts delivery dates, and identifies exceptions to customer commitments. In addition, the wealth of cross-functional data combined with advanced analytics has helped pinpoint the root causes of issues and identify opportunities for performance improvement. To date, the program has realized over US$16M in annual savings while improving the customer experience.
Moving from spoke to hub
With just one in 10 companies realizing 5% growth or more from its ecosystem, something needs to change. Orchestrating an ecosystem—rather than just participating it—could be your company’s ticket to growth and innovation.