Design through Collaboration: A Supplier Partnership Paradigm
New supplier / manufacturer relationship are necessary to produce products quickly, cost-effectively, and with features expected by the customer. However, the need for a new relationship is not universally accepted and endorsed. Resistance can be minimized through supplier self-assessment (such as Ford Motor Company's web-based instruments), management initiatives, and incentives. Trust and sharing are hallmarks. This strategy requires a new workplace paradigm affecting culture and people issues. Teams, extend across companies, share ideas and innovations. Decisions need to be mutually beneficial and the long-term value, for supplier and manufacturer, needs to be considered.