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October 05, 2018
Developing and executing a supplier innovation strategy
By: Jerry Kilty

Are your supplier collaboration efforts working to optimize your profitability? Sometimes companies struggle to enjoy successful supplier partnerships. This is often due to a lack of trust and transparency between the supply chain trading partners.

Is the rapid technology change passing you and your company by? Is it time to begin transforming your supply chain to a digital supply chain? Will this transformation assist with improving supplier relationships? The answer to these questions is yes, and time is of the essence.

New emerging technologies, such as moving existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the cloud, the growth of the internet of things (IoT), and predictive analytics using artificial intelligence with blockchain security, are particularly effective at helping gain transparency and build supplier trust.

Supply chain professionals will see a shift in responsibility from reactive problem-solving to future decision-making. By using analytics, information will more rapidly and more accurately be available. And the focus will shift to strong analytical capabilities, critical thinking, familiarity with lean philosophies, end-to-end supply chain expertise, and managing and maintaining relationship building.

Migrating your systems to the cloud facilitates integrating internal and external data, improving planning processes such as sales and operations planning (S&OP) or integrated business planning (IBP). Imagine a monthly IBP meeting using a smart dashboard to aggregate your sales by location that allows you to drill down to specific items at a specific store and at the same time review the production replenishment plans and inventory stocking levels.

Knowing how technologies such as IoT, blockchain, artificial and business intelligence, and the cloud will impact supplier innovation strategies is the key to improving productivity. The cloud will increase the visibility of data, while IoT will provide an exponential amount of big data to produce predictive analytics through artificial intelligence. Blockchain adds the necessary security to further enable innovative technologies for your supplier relationship improvements.

How will implementing innovative supplier relationship strategies improve productivity and improve your profitability? The Accenture Academy courses A Digital Supply Chain’s Impact on Supplier Innovation Strategy, Integrating Data to Improve the Planning Process, and Emerging Technologies for Supplier Innovation Strategy can help you understand the transformation to an innovative supplier-relationship-based model. The results will be clear: Start improving your productivity and profitability today.

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