It has been my experience, over the past 33 years in the gas/welding industry, that innovations do not spring forth from a vacuum. During my industry tenure, we have seen trading, technology and vendor/customer partners come together to invent integrated and customized solutions.
Vendor managed inventory; associations of regional distributors to serve national contracts; buying and best practices sharing groups; major gas supplier distributor associations; gas and welding e-commerce portals; ERP and third party integrated software solutions, and more.
It has become obvious to me, through years of watching successful examples, that one of the best ways to create custom solutions and build a better supply chain is to collaborate with your business partners. After all is said and done, if the supply chain is not improved and constituents attain no perceived value, then nothing good comes about. When I was growing up, my father used to say on the subject of collaboration, “If you want to build a church, you need to get parishioners, and the best way to get parishioners is to find people to help you plan and build the church itself.”
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