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Still Lots of Room for Improvement in Retail-Vendor Collaboration

Benchmark Study Show Both Sides See Opportunity for Improvement, but Vendors Think They are Better than Retailers at Collaboration

March 30, 2016

Supply Chain Digest Editorial Staff

This month, one last data point from the recent Supply Chain Digest benchmark report on the state of supply chain relationships between retailers and their suppliers, on views related to supply chain collaboration. The full report, based on detailed survey results from 50 retailers and more than 200 manufacturers, is available here: The State of Retailer-Vendor Supply Chain Relationships 2016

Supply Chain Digest Says...

"It's not us, it's the other guy," the message seems to be.

How good do retailers and vendors believe they are at supply chain collaboration? As can be seen in the chart at the right, the majority of retailers place their collaborative skills as just average (55%). Thirty-nine percent considered themselves above average, and interestingly, no retailer placed itself as having "near the top" in terms of collaboration capabilities.

Meanwhile, vendors scored themselves as possessing higher collaboration skills than did retailers, with a combined 53% scoring themselves as either above average or near the top, with just 37% scoring themselves as average collaborators.


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That naturally enough leads to the question of what the barriers are to improved collaboration between retailers and manufacturers.

Below is also a chart that quantified what both sides saw as key obstacles, but neither retailers nor vendors think their own collaborative capabilities are a big issue, with average scores of 2.4 and 3.7 on a scale of 1 (low barrier) to 7 (high barrier) from retailers and vendors respectively.


"It's not us, it's the other guy," the message seems to be.

In fact, the lack of trading partner skills in collaboration was the top ranked barrier among vendors, while the top ranked retail barrier concerned challenges in how to share the gains from any collaboration.

In general, retailers rated almost every barrier a full percentage point or more lower than vendors, for reasons that aren't clear, other than perhaps a somewhat more simplistic view of what collaboration means versus the vendor perspective.

These data points represent just a smidgen of the great content in this new report - we encourage you to take a look at the highly graphical, easy to read study, which again you will find here: The State of Retailer-Vendor Supply Chain Relationships 2016.


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