The old thinking in our industry was all about gaining leverage and controlling the supply chain. Increasingly, however, value is created through networks where partners share data, code, and skills; where communities of businesses create value and anti-fragility together. We should move away from transactional relationships in favour of deeper partnerships that bring greater agility and accountability. This is why I developed and designed a quarterly - free downloadable - Fashion & Luxury Intelligence Report. The subscription link is shared in this article.
Relationships are the true currency
For years, there have been calls for closer partnerships between brands and suppliers. However, progress has been frustratingly slow, evidenced by the fact that before Covid-19 the prevailing relationship between fashion companies and suppliers was transactional in nature and short-term in scope. The voice of suppliers is getting louder, reaching consumers globally. Many suppliers are demanding a relationship based on mutual respect, fairer treatment, a reasonable share of value and better adherence to contracts. This was also the key take-way of the online seminar ‘ The future of sourcing’ that was organized by Modint on January 21st.
In the collaborative economy it’s not the idea of sharing that’s new… What’s different now is the introduction of technology into the concept.
The B2B sharing economy
The Sharing Economy is booming. More and more private customers are discovering the trend towards "using instead of owning". While P2P sharing, such as overnight stays in Airbnb private apartments or car sharing, is becoming increasingly popular, B2B sharing models are still rare. The classic industry seems to be waiting to see this trend. Sharing resources is not a matter of course for companies, even if it brings benefits. After all, companies have been competitors for decades, not collaborators. It is therefore understandable if there are reservations about sharing with direct competitors. However, the importance of the B2B Sharing Economy will increase in the future.
The business advantage of sharing
Reasons to support the principle of sharing in industry are:
- Additional resources: Enterprises, in particular SMEs, will have access to resources to which they will not have access if they are not shared.
- Faster response to market changes: By using external sharing resources, companies become more efficient and can work faster. They pay for what they need when they need it, instead of making expensive investments.
- Competitive advantages: B2B sharing leads to more flexibility and agility. Companies can focus on their strengths and outsource the rest. They have more resources to develop better products and can offer the same experience as a more traditional organization.
Know-why is often more important than know-how as it allows you to be creative.
Develop a culture of trust and sharing knowledge
Knowledge sharing is essential for a company to achieve success, since it can facilitate decision-making capabilities, build learning organizations (through a learning routine) and finally, stimulate cultural change and innovation. It might seem obvious why knowledge sharing is important, but not all companies “get it” or even focus on a “knowledge sharing culture.” Today, there are more benefits and a need for a knowledge sharing strategy than ever before. By showing how important knowledge sharing is to your company, employees are more open to collaborate and provide feedback between departments. This keeps your company as an open community of knowledge. When you have a team of informed and knowledgeable employees, outsiders of the organization take notice too.
Intelligence sharing by Isrid. Subscribe to the Fashion & Luxury Intelligence Report ( Link below, it’s for free )
I hear, read and research a massive amount of precious intelligence and insights through my work and business. Intel that I process as an international recruiter, strategic business partner, professor and external advisor for Rome Business School Fashion MBA, Willem de Kooning Academy and Essec Paris Luxury MBA. I strongly wished to share this info and data with my community and so I developed and designed the quarterly - free downloadable - Fashion & Luxury Intelligence Report. Curated by me, with the latest existing business trends, fashion-tech innovation and marketing intelligence. It’s your solution to keep up with the constantly shifting and emerging technology trends that impact your job or company. The very first report will be issued on February 5th 2021. Make sure you get your copy by subscribing via this link.