Partners across the extended supply chain must increase collaboration and engagement across the marketplace and their partners whether manufacturers, suppliers, carriers, distribution or customer, all of these various partners require increased communication in order to meet the demands of the end customer.  In this expanding connected world collaboration and engagement are the price of admission, no matter the market or the practice, collaboration and engagement lubricate and increase the likelihood of success.  In fact the supply chain in many ways is leading in collaboration and engagement as a result of the varied partners across the extended supply chain.  The supply chain has been a leader in engagement and collaboration for a long, long, time as a result of the number of partners involved and broad distribution of partners and practices.


The supply chain provides leadership as result of the demands placed on the supply chain first to support a global economy and as a result to support increasing demands for efficiency improvements in the global market.  Now supply chain can provide leadership to their extended partners in expansion of collaboration and engagement.  Engagement is simple; you must pay attention to actions and activities and you must respond to these actions and activities.  Even though it may be a very simple concept it can be very difficult to successfully execute.  This is the challenge and this is where all the efforts and demands of a global supply chain really pay off. 


The supply chain has embraced the control tower concept to help with management of the interactions across the extended supply chain and now these same practices can be applied to encourage engagement and expand collaboration across the extended supply chain.  A smooth flow of communications and information is key to the acceptance and success of the supply chain collaboration and extended engagement across all partners in the extended supply chain and the control tower concept provides a framework and foundation that can support the quickly changing demands of the supply chain.


Fortunately, the supply chain is the best option to  build an engaged and collaborative market.  The sooner the marketplace understands that there are no single participants that control the extended relationships, the sooner the marketplace can build an engaged marketplace built on the foundation of the extended supply chain.  The control tower concept and tools must be implemented across the extended supply chain in order to ensure a robust framework is implemented to support the continuously changing marketplace.  The first step is for the marketplace participants to recognize and accept the challenge to develop the tools and framework to support the necessary engagement and collaboration.


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?