I interviewed Jit Hinchman who discussed Supply Chain Collaboration.
It's nice speaking to you today, Jit. Looking forward to hearing your views on supply chain collaboration. Before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?
It's nice talking to you too, Dustin, today. Thank you for having me. My name is Jit Hinchman. I have about 10 years of experience. Throughout my career, I find myself to be everywhere in supply chain flow. I started being in Technical Sourcing Engineer in the other career. So I was an engineer in the [0:00:34]. I would end up in sales and marketing, doing those kinds of things. When I first experienced supply chain management when I work for Mattel. Back then, they wanted to bring the concept to the whole factories and to be in sync with the Corporate in America. So they introduced a concept to people to aware how important it is of the supply chain management and how to save cost throughout, and manage the inventory and all of that. So that is my background.
After that, I ended up in another career, I always implemented supply chain management and managed the flow of the products that I developed to supply to the customers in the other countries, like in the US and all that. So that's pretty much about my experience.
Can you talk about what is supply chain collaboration?
Supply chain collaboration is the effort that the two firms work together, share their strengths that have the common and shared goal together, to achieve together. Let's say a firm that has strength in something and they lack of another expertise, and they want to gain that strength, if they collaborate with the other firm that has that strength. It will help them to be able to compete in the market better. That is about supply chain collaboration.
Why is it important?
It is important because supply chain collaboration can bring another whole new level of increased profitability and increased strength that they can compete in the market. And, it is not easy to implement. So even though many firms that know the concept is good and can help the firm to move forward in another level of moving their supply chain and to be able to compete in the market. But to achieve in practice, it concerns and it involves many other elements they cannot capture through number. It requires both art and science together and needs a leader that understands both cultures in each firm that they need to collaborate and also see through the vision and be able to foster the communication and effort to help to firm to success together.
How is it done effectively?
How to get the supply chain collaboration done effectively? In relationship between the firms need to be based on trust. And trust is not easy to achieve. It's one of the most difficult elements to achieve in business. In order to get to that, it requires both art and science to help to achieve it. So from what I experience, when you first started, you need to know your strengths, know your weakness. I mean the firm, including yourself as well. And look at the other firm that you are going to collaborate and how to foster that environment, the safe environment and encourage people to talk together, to work together. You need to have clear goals, clear communication and understand each other.
So once the trust starts to develop, in the early stage, the leader or the executive in doing collaboration, need to define the clear goal and the target and involve chief of information technology and also lawyers to facilitate the collaboration, foster the safety environment that people feel like they can protect their business confidentiality through the contract first. Some companies need that. Some companies need more of getting to know each other by starting with the small projects and get to know each other more, know what the culture and the value and all that. Try to align their business strategy and the goal that they're trying to achieve together and make it clear and set the champion or the leader of the project and make sure that the executive or the supply chain executive has their seat at a higher level because it's important for them to see from end to end of the supply chain and be able to remove whatever blocks the effort that the two firms trying to work together.
So for me, it requires trust. It requires the good communication and the willingness to work together to see the profit, why you work together and how to achieve it together. People with an open mind and foster the safe environment for the firm to work together through the contracts through knowing each other and protect one another and to gain the strength together and achieve the success and profitability and its long-term improvement. It cannot just be one or two weeks project. It can never work that way. It takes a long time and put all the effort, put in people that see through and how to get it done as well. That's how I see it and from the experience that I did.
Well, thank you, Jit, for sharing today.
You're so welcome. Thank you for having me.
About Jit Hinchman
Engineering and Supply Chain Professional
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