I find that cross-functional teams can be some of the most valuable teams that generate winning ideas. By taking a diverse team of people with different backgrounds and areas of focus and providing a common goal, ideas arise that never would have occurred with a silo approach. In my estimation, my clients that support cross-functional teams achieve at least 30% better results. Thus, why not consider the same idea with cross-supply chain opportunities?
Start with your customers. Typically there are several customers within a supply chain. At the most basic level, there are internal and external customers. However, outside of your organization, think about your customers’ customers? Is there a way you can create a cross-customer team to find ways to achieve customer delight throughout your supply chain?
If your customer sells to the end user, consider customer surveys or polls. If your customer sells through a distributor, involve the distributor. And so on… Then search for opportunities to leverage across your supply chain for win-win-win-win results. Even if you achieve a win-equal-equal-win, it would be worth it. Your end customer received a win. Wouldn’t it be likely that growth would follow? Also, if you collaborate for combined success even though you come out “even”, I’ve found that it gets your cross-supply chain team thinking. A win often arises for you as well from unexpected places.