Supply chain collaboration will cut retail costs, finds Bibby-led panel

Retailers could cut their costs by as much as 20 per cent by closely collaborating with suppliers and 3PLs, a Bibby-led panel at the International Festival of Business has found.

In an event attended by the leading lights of the retail supply chain, Darcy Willson-Rymer, CEO of Bibby Line Group company Costcutter, said working with wholesaler Palmer and Harvey on shared projects had dramatically cut supply chain costs.

The panel discussed how collaboration could cut costs for retailers.

Willson-Rymer said: "By collaborating together through a shared user network we have lowered costs, which helps boost the profit margins of our independent retailers."

He continued: "This has worked because the interests of all businesses have been aligned. Everyone needs to be prepared to find compromises, but if you have agreement and understanding on core values, you have a base to build on."

The lively panel also discussed the issues of collaborating either vertically or horizontally, with a general consensus that collaboration should happen whenever the opportunity was simply irresistible.

Iain Speak, CEO, Bibby Supply Chain Services, says: "Many challenges we face as businesses are too big to take on individually, but together, we are much stronger. There are various issues such as the need to attract top talent to work in our industry, or cutting down on empty vehicle running, which we can solve more effectively through collaboration across the supply chain. Bibby Supply Chain Services is already working to collaborate vertically with our customers, and horizontally with our competitors, and the result is that businesses are making real cash savings."

Speak concludes: "This is helping us cut the cost of the supply chain while raising the bar for professionalism. We are proud to be at the forefront of driving forward better ways of working."

Bibby Line Group is a Lead Sponsor of the Maritime, Logistics and Energy (MLE) thematic held as part of the International Festival for Business 2014 (IFB) in Liverpool. The roundtable debate was one of 30-plus events taking place during MLE, from 9 to 20 June as part of the six-week festival.

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