September 7, 2021

Growth through Digital Collaboration

Pre-COVID, supply chain connectivity initiatives were sought after almost exclusively as a way to cut costs. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, sourcing redundancy and supply chain security became a major driver for these initiatives. But as current events create vicissitudes in stakeholder focus, let’s not forget that digital supply chain connectivity can also be a great way to grow.

Recent studies in social psychology have proven that the human brain is hardwired to pursue the path of least resistance. This is usually not through some intentional moral failing or lack of work ethic, but out of a thirst for sheer efficiency. Oftentimes our brain is telling us that the lowest hanging fruit in the orchard will actually deliver the best return on our efforts. And it’s not just humans. Tens of thousands of years ago, the grey wolf decided it was a much better use of its time eating the scraps from Paleolithic Man’s humble table than hustling after prey in the chaos of the wild 24/7.

Nobody can deny the power that the path of least resistance wields—either in our everyday lives or as a matter of organizational psychology. Coworkers grabbing lunch near the office. A business that runs SAP choosing to buy an SAP-native app. Selecting a service provider that already has a Master Service Agreement (MSA) in place. And the busier people and organizations get, the more they lean on this subconscious desire in order to get as much done in as little time as possible.

Barriers to Business Growth

Whether you’re selling industrial chemicals, financial services or technology, achieving growth efficiently is one of the toughest challenges an organization can face. As any seasoned business development professional will tell you, it seems like there are countless ways a deal can fall apart. But these six barriers are among the most common:

  1. Not reaching the right decision-makers.
  2. Failing to gain collective consensus on the deal.
  3. Not proving hard-dollar value.
  4. Inability to reach mutually agreeable terms.
  5. General lack of trust in the product/team/brand
  6. Perceived risk, whether real or not

Strategic sellers go through a lot of effort and expense to avoid or overcome these sales pitfalls. But workarounds include more than just lunches, hard-won presentations and personal favors. Digital connectivity can help you sail right past these objections by integrating your enterprise and supply chain with buyers in a way that fast-tracks new business growth and makes your company the path of least resistance.

How Connectivity Can Help

The last 30 years have seen global organizations completely reinvent organizational efficiency through the propagation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Now, with the maturation of Industry 4.0 technologies, platforms and environments, the next few decades will see a similar explosion in supply chain connectivity—one that’s already well underway. This revolution in selling efficiency pushes beyond the enterprise to connect all trading partners across the supply chain.

Leading companies across a number of industrial sectors are establishing real-time digital supply chain connectivity networks to make it easier to do business with preferred trading partners. When you plug into an existing digital supply network, there is already a foundation in place for a business relationship—not just technologically, but also from a corporate and administrative standpoint. Plugging into one of these digital networks can get you past the most common pitfalls:

  • Establishing a digital, real-time connection with decision-makers.
  • Gaining an advantage gathering collective consensus.
  • Showing hard-dollar value and agreeable terms right up front.
  • Delivering total transparency and accountability with trading partners.
  • Getting instant access to a pre-qualified pool of potential buyers
  • Promising faster and more efficient transactions

Relationships have always been important. But back in the day, it was much more common to game the sale with three-martini lunches and bandit buying. These days, corporations are far more rigorous in their approach to sourcing and supplier management. Tools and systems are in place to check value. Plugging into a digital supply network means making a short-list of preferred providers with access to some of the world’s leading buyer organizations.

The Elemica Network

At Elemica, we’re proud to have created the world’s largest digital supply network for industrial companies. More than 60,000 of the world’s leading corporations are digitally connected through Elemica, including BASF, DuPont, Dow, BP, ExxonMobil, ChevronPhillips, Shell, P&G, Honeywell, Campbell’s, PepsiCo and more. Once a company connects through Elemica, potential trading partners have a head start in making use of this extensive digital community—making their company not only a trusted enterprise but also the path of least trading resistance.

When you’re a part of the network, you’re a more attractive potential trading partner. That’s because when you’re connected, buyers know that you’ll be able to offer:

  • Automated transactions that save time and money
  • More sourcing resilience (and confidence for buyers)
  • Access to hundreds of carriers around the world
  • More visibility for fewer surprises when doing business
  • Less admin, overhead and red tape

More than $1T USD in transactions is routed through Elemica’s digital supply network each year. Tire manufacturers buying rubber and carbon black. Chemical companies ordering feedstock. Breweries, chocolate makers and pipe companies all ensuring that raw materials are up to specification in real-time. Each purchase is fast-tracked through its participation in The Elemica Network. And you can be a part of it too. So stop building every sale from scratch; make it easier for your business to grow organically by connecting your supply chain to others. You’ll come to the table with not only the things that make your company and its products or services great, but also the confidence that comes with digitally-confirmed trust and transparency up front.