Collaboration is Key to the South African Supply Chain

Collaboration is Key to the South African Supply Chain

Even in the earliest history of the logistics industry, traders operating across diverse geographies, cultures and economies knew they had to work together to expand their reach. Today, that spirit of collaboration hasn’t changed, but the technology that ties the global supply chain together certainly has.

When a company wants to increase its profit, two strategies have remained generally in use throughout time: squeeze the customer to pay more, or squeeze the supplier to reduce their prices. But for both, the result is the same: merely taking money out of their pockets and putting it into yours. Unfortunately, neither of these add any real value to anyone. In fact, value is lost when customers are forced to reduce the amount they can buy and suppliers must downgrade the quality of their product to cover costs. This isn’t collaboration; it’s just bad business.

True collaboration unlocks true value for everyone—your suppliers, your customers, and your own business. Running a single platform solution that’s integrated with all your partners’ systems empowers you to manage logistics from a central database across multiple users, functions, offices, countries and languages.

For the last 10 years, I’ve personally been involved in helping companies collaborate using technology in one of the most diverse regions of the globe. There are major institutional voids in Africa—ranging from electricity supply to Internet connectivity—and collaboration is the key to overcoming such gaps. I have seen this work in many instances, and innovative uses of technology often play a major role in bridging these gaps.

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Material Handling & Logistics is an IndustryWeek companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.


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