Last week in this blog we shared an insight that seems intuitive to most supply chain professionals, even though they don’t always act on it: that close collaboration between buyers and suppliers benefits both sides. Research has shown that retailers that collaborate closest with their suppliers have higher growth, greater profitability and lower operating costs than their competitors.

If the benefits of collaboration are so well proven, you may be wondering, then why don’t more retailers and suppliers do more of it? As it turns out, there are a few hurdles preventing closer collaboration, but the biggest according to recent surveys, is a lack of trust.

A survey of 210 retailers and suppliers by Coresight Research found that, while collaboration between the two sides has been gradually increasing, most say that a lack of trust is the biggest barrier to further collaboration. 63% of retailers and 53% of suppliers said that a lack of trust makes desired collaboration challenging or “very challenging.”

And without that collaboration, both sides agree, it’s difficult to stay responsive to market and shopper trends.

Building trust doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and requires buy-in from entire organizations. But it starts with respect and is fostered through communication, which not only helps prevent misunderstanding enables both sides to share data and insights that can help each other.

Unfortunately, data sharing can be a point of tension between retailers and suppliers, and not only because some businesses are reluctant to share sales insights and consumer profiles – insights that are necessary for predicting demand. Sometimes they simply don’t have a process for sharing that information.

TradeBeyond enables that process. Our app is more than just a digital showroom for product discovery. It’s a collaborative tool that optimizes the entire product development process, creating communication channels between buyers and suppliers while speeding up time to market. And it all starts with a user base of reputable buyers and verified, ESG-proofed suppliers.

Trust begins with TradeBeyond. Contact us to learn more about how our platform verifies suppliers.

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