How do you get 50,000 tea farmers and distributors in regional India working together to build collaboration and supply chain transparency? Through a digital platform, of course.
Collaboration for the “common good” is reaping real benefits. In some retail and organisational collaboration hubs, there are over 300 companies involved, with estimated operational savings at a combined total of €100 million.
Martin Chilcott, 2degrees CEO and Founder, gets to the point about the type of collaboration needed to cut costs, reduce risks and drive innovation within complex supply chains.
Why is collaboration so important, perhaps even uniquely important to sustainable business?
There are 3 main reasons why collaboration is more important than ever before in helping businesses survive and thrive in what are increasingly chaotic and uncertain times.
1. Firstly most of the environmental and social sustainability challenges businesses face are part of the challenge of the commons. No one company owns the atmosphere, the oceans, the fish stocks, or fresh water reserves. These are resources common to us all. And because of that they can only be managed sustainably through collaboration.
2. Secondly, today most businesses, have subcontracted or out-sourced and off-shored their purchases and operations to such an extent that they have become totally dependent on a geographically dispersed, and increasingly fragile supply-chain. For many companies up to 80 per cent of their risks and impacts lie in this supply-chain. You can’t coerce your suppliers (not for long anyway); and you can’t audit them into submission and compliance. Ultimately you have to work with them.
3. Lastly, brand reputation is no longer something solely in the control of the brand company. It’s one of those risks that lies outside the company in the supply-chain. That makes mitigating brand risk something that can only be done with the co-operation of your suppliers. It becomes a collaborative exercise.