Data: Trading Partners Share Misalignment Sources, Solutions - Modern Distribution Management

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Data: Trading Partners Share Misalignment Sources, Solutions

A new survey found significant data silos and bad communication between distributors, manufacturers, buying groups and retailers.
Partnership Skills for Industrial Buyers and Sellers (Part 2)

Only 10% of distributors consider themselves strongly aligned with their trading partners, according to a new supply chain report.

Rebate management platform Enable released its “Overcoming the Misalignment Between Supply Chain Partners” report on March 28. Enable’s survey of nearly 250 manufacturers, distributors, buying groups and retailers found there is significant misalignment between supply chain partners, especially among distributors and manufacturers.

Most notably, just 10% of distributors reported strong alignment between themselves and their trading partners. Roughly half of the distributors polled noticed a lack of alignment about 50% of the time, while 76% of manufacturers reported alignment with their trading partners. Enable calls this a “collaboration gap,” where one partner feels more left out than the other.

“This gap must be addressed if trading partners are to achieve more success together,” the survey said.

The report also found that supply chain pressures have polarized relationships. Approximately 40% of distributors and buying groups said their relationships have strengthened despite recent supply chain disruptions. Meanwhile, 60% of manufacturers believe their relationships have remained stagnant or weakened due to supply chain issues, while only 25% of retailers have felt their relationships grow stronger.

“We were surprised to learn how siloed data really is between trading partners,” Enable founder and CEO Andrew Butt said in the report. “Not only are trading partners not working off contracts designed to clearly delineate terms, they’re not communicating as effectively as they think they are. These two issues act as force multipliers when it comes to the friction that naturally exists between companies trying to do business, compounding that friction exponentially. Thankfully, collaborating more closely together offers trading partners a means by which they can lower this friction and achieve stronger trading relationships. The data is clear: when trading partners work closely together, they see more success. In the coming years, close collaboration will mean the difference between success and stagnation.”

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