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Capability Library


Supplier collaboration and innovation

Supplier collaboration and innovation

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Supplier collaboration and innovation involves fostering collaborative relationships with suppliers to drive innovation, continuous improvement, and long-term value creation. It encompasses activities such as supplier engagement, joint problem-solving, and co-development of new products, services, and processes.

Beginner competence definition

A beginner-level professional has a basic understanding of the importance of supplier collaboration and supports more experienced professionals in supplier engagement activities. They can assist in gathering supplier feedback, organizing collaboration sessions, and documenting outcomes. They may require guidance from more experienced professionals in fostering effective supplier collaboration and driving innovation initiatives.

Intermediate competence definition

An intermediate-level professional is able to build and maintain collaborative relationships with suppliers, as well as actively engage with suppliers to identify opportunities for process improvement, cost reduction, and innovation. They can facilitate joint problem-solving sessions, lead cross-functional teams to address operational challenges, and implement supplier-driven improvement initiatives. They also possess strong communication and interpersonal skills to foster effective supplier communication and collaboration.

Advanced competence definition

An advanced-level professional has extensive knowledge of supplier relationship management, innovation frameworks, and best practices in supplier collaboration and can lead supplier collaboration strategies, collaborating with strategic suppliers to align goals, foster innovation, and drive mutual business growth. They facilitate collaborative ideation sessions, co-develop new products or processes, and implement joint innovation projects. They also actively seek out emerging technologies and trends, identify opportunities for supplier-led innovation, and establish mechanisms for sharing knowledge and insights with suppliers. In our experience, we have found they often act as a catalyst for supplier-driven innovation, establishing win-win relationships that deliver long-term value to the organization.


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