Earlier in the week we looked at How to select a Supplier Relationship Management system, so I thought it would be a good idea to look at two examples of great supplier innovation, two supplier innovation case studies if you will.
I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways to learn is from example. So, let’s learn from the best, the baddest, the most wickedly amazing supplier innovations. Whether you’re a supplier innovation pro, or just starting out, we all have a lot to learn from these two examples.
First let’s take a look at Walmart’s Approach to Supplier Innovation. Get on the Shelf is a competition which allows entrepreneurs the chance to sell their products on Walmart’s website. Would be Walmart suppliers submit a video of their product, and it is then judged, and possibly selected, some even get stocked both online and in select Walmart stores. Get on the Shelf is a shining example of how supplier innovation can be mutually beneficial for the supplier and the buyer: Walmart are able to tap into new ideas and processes from their supply base, while the supplier can road- test their ideas in a secure environment, with the potential for great success.
The next example comes from automobile giant Ford. When Ford launched a project to reduce their window trim cost they turned to their suppliers for the solution. Ford’s suppliers created a new resin which has slimmed down the manufacturing process. It’s cut out 2,700 gallons of diesel fuel and 60,000 pounds of carbon dioxide by removing 19,200 truck miles transporting the parts between factories. It was a move that was both good for the environment (look at that carbon dioxide reduction) and dramatically cut costs. Those are two benefits which make us take notice.
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