Collaboration helps to reach business goals, say UK firms

14 March 2002
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14 March 2002 | David Arminas

Three-quarters of UK companies believe collaborative supply chain partnerships are either important or very important to their business goals.

Research commissioned by BT, and conducted by analysts IDC, found that of the companies that measured the impact of partnerships, over 60 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises said close relationships increased revenues.

Half of the large firms had increased profits, and half the public-sector organisations offered better service. The biggest benefit for all respondents was increased efficiency, especially for large companies.

The research also found that a shared vision by all participants is the attribute most likely to lead to a successful partnership arrangement, according to more than 60 per cent of respondents.

"A vision is absolutely essential," said Les Pyle, director-general of Partnership Sourcing Limited (PSL), a non-profit organisation set up by the Confederation of British Industry and the Department of Trade and Industry in 1990 to help foster strategic long-term supply chain relationships.

Pyle stressed that well-intentioned mission statements are not visions and are unlikely to lead to successful collaboration.

"A partnership must be kept under review and include measurable goals, such as market share," he said. "The more you can measure efforts, the more likely you will be successful."

Although most of companies in the survey claimed benefits from partnerships, 68 per cent had not attempted to measure the financial impact and 58 per cent said they had no plans to measure it.

The research covered 250 companies and was conducted in January and February.

• For more information, call IDC on 020 8987 7100.

SMmar2002

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