Collaborative working defined is the act of two or more people or organisations working together for a specific goal that is of benefit to the business. Collaborative software is best described as application software designed to help those involved in a common task achieve a common goal, i.e. a platform all parties can access. The design intent of collaborative software is to transform the way documents and rich media are shared in order to enable more effective team collaboration.
Understanding the business process and the end goal are key and ensuring that process that are relative to the company are not missed or overlooked. There are a variety of off the shelf solution to assist with collaboration but won’t have taken into account the businesses specific needs or processes, they will also need some customisation and probably integration into other systems.
Allowing staff in different locations to work together on a document will not only reduce the amount of time but should also increase the quality of the work. Collaborative working is key for companies that have multiple sites as it allows the whole company to work together to achieve the end goal. A good example of how collaborative working can help organisations is if a multi-site company is needs to turn a customer enquiry round quickly that would have in the past taken days to get approval from the powers that be can now be upload to the collaborative working solutions and get approval even if their manager is not onsite or in the country. No waiting for time zones or for somebody to come back into the office.
At borwell we use a variety of systems to communicate with staff but also host a collaborative portal for customers so they can see the development and engage with staff at any point through the development process. This supports our Agile approach to development and also produces better quality developments as the customer is engaged throughout the project.
Improving efficiency and security within your supply chain provides ample opportunities to improve your profitability. Collaboration empowers your suppliers and customers with access to key data and views via a secure web portal.
Supply chain collaboration can have a dramatic effect on a business as it will allow suppliers to access information and data that they would not have been previously able to access and could reduce the pressure on admin and finance staff. The other side is that the supply chain can keep your company updated with delivery dates or delays on deliveries, this in turn will allow for better planning of work and staff utilisation. Some of the benefits effective Supply Chain Collaboration can achieve are:
- Lower inventory levels and higher inventory turns
- Lower transportation and warehousing costs
- Lower out-of-stock levels
- Shorter lead times
- Improved customer service metrics
- Visibility into customer demand and supplier performance
- Earlier and quicker decision-making
Effective collaboration with supply chain partners requires that your organization share valuable information in real time. You are trying to create, through near-transparent communication, a network of collaborators to act as an extension of your efforts to get the right product to the right customer in the right market at the exact time they want and need it.
Transaction integration. This involves the automation of business processes and transactions, using EDI, the Internet, or proprietary tools. At the execution level, you and your partners exchange transactional data such as:
- Purchase orders, work orders and sales orders
- POS information
- Credit and debit notes
Supply chain management information sharing. EDI, the Internet, or proprietary tools are used at this level to give partners information that helps them make the best decisions. Types of information being shared include:
- Production or component forecasts
- Production and transportation plans and capacities
- Bills of material (BOMs)
- Product descriptions
- Prices and promotions
- Product and material availability
- Service levels
- Contract terms, such as supply capacity, inventory, and services
Strategic collaboration. At this level you and your partners are taking part in joint planning, process redesign, as well as sharing some level of risk and reward. You will be making collaborative decisions on issues like:
- Improving the accuracy of forecasts
- Strengthening strategic supply chain relationships and profitability
- Enhancing sales and operations planning
- Accelerating and managing demand plans, direct material procurement and fulfilment throughout the supply chain
- Resolving critical supply chain events
- Production capacities
- Production facility and fulfilment network expansion
- Pricing plans
“Knowledge is power,” as they say, and in the case of supply chain collaboration, sharing of information leads to enhanced knowledge across the chain that allows you to achieve:
What can borwell do for you? The borwell team can meet both your staff and customer demands, whether you operate a B2B or a B2C business. By providing custom supply chain collaborations that are available across multiple platforms, both staff and customers can access key data whenever, wherever. The team can create a variety of products to best suit your needs from applications, web apps to intranet portals, all of which are built to your set requirements. The team will always work closely with the business in question to ensure the product best serves your business and purpose, using the latest web technologies and web standards means that your solution is also mobile friendly and responsive.