This study of 55 firms involved in collaborative relationships finds significantly improved information visibility, service levels and end-customer satisfaction. Companies also reported increased flexibility in doing business and reduced cycle times, and, to a lesser extent, increased business volume and inventory visibility. Firms with formalised relationships perform even better. Structuring of a collaborative relationship can eliminate ambiguity, clarify priorities and save time, it is argued.
Three areas are recommended for getting the most out of formalisation: monitoring of rules and standards; meetings and other interaction for information sharing and reassessing goals and objectives; and inventory management.
Source: Is collaboration paying off for firms?
Patricia J Daugherty, R Glenn Richey, Anthony S Roath, Soonhong Min, Haozhe Chen, Aaron D Arndt and Stefan E Genchev Business Horizons 2006, 49
Review by Steve Lodge