Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a job or achieve a goal. Collaboration is similar to cooperation. At a less detailed level, there are a number of common bases for collaborative advantage, these include:
Access to resources: organization often collaborate if they are unable to achieve their goals with their owns resources’. Sometimes this simply means collecting financial or human recourses, but more often it implies the bringing together of different resources including technology or knowledge and experience.
Shared risk: sharing of risk as a reason for collaboration is, in a sense, the direct opposite of the access to resource argument, in this case the organization collaborate simply because the consequences of breakdown on a project are too high for them to risk taking it on one.
Efficiency: we should start up front that we see efficiency as a problematic nation for collaborative advantage. However efficiency arguments are often made for collaborating and take many from. Governments have often seen private organizations as being more efficient than public ones. The latter has promoted public private partnerships (collaboration). Four different perspectives on efficiency:
Efficiency stems from the notion of economies of scale
Efficiency linked to outsourcing activities
Coordination of services as to avoid duplication and thus ensure efficiency
Co-ordination and seamlessness: As seen above, coordination is an important element to achieve efficiency. Coordination is the work of organizing, making different people or things work together for a goal or effect to complete desired goals in an organization. Coordination is a managerial function in which diverse activities of the business are properly adjusted and interlinked. Yet, coordination and seamlessness are not always inter related: Repetition, omission, divergence and Counter production are pitfalls obstructing collaboration.
Learning: as with the arguments for efficiency, those for learning take a number of appearances. While collaborations are commonly set up to follow some joint activity some are created with them on the fact of it more self-effacing, aim of mutual learning.
The moral imperative: there is no other way some would argue that the most important reason for being worried with the collaboration is a moral one, this rests on the belief that the really important issues facing society –poverty ,crime, drug cannot be tackled by any organization acting alone.
To talk to this chance of collaboration, Walmart had two programs that particularly targeted local producers the Direct Farm program, which worked with farmers in developing countries to source fresh fruits and vegetables for Walmart’s local stores, The Empowering Women Together (EWT) program sourced unique, hand-made apparel, jewelry, home goods, and food products made by small, women-owned and women-empowering enterprises and offered these products to Walmart’s online customers. In both programs, Walmart was working with small and medium producers from the developing world who had primarily sold their products in informal local markets and had little or no prior experience in accessing a global retailer’s supply chain. So walmart play the role of Inter-Company collaboration over taking a product to the market as one company provides the product and the other provides the access to the market.
Sales volume, scope of operation and wide customer base: Walmart has been able to capture a huge market share by selling almost everything, and being almost everywhere, Its large volume of sales enables it to make substantial profits, even in instances where individual margins on single items may be slimmer than those of its competitors. Supply chain management based on electronic product information, vendor role in distribution, and layout of warehouses: Walmart has a supply chain system that is regarded in multiple quarters as one of the most technologically advanced and efficient.
Another key strategy by Walmart has been its move in the 1980’s to deal directly with manufacturers. Suppliers at that time became responsible for managing inventory in its warehouses. This shift in responsibility for inventory management from Walmart to the suppliers, which constituted a vendor-managed inventory system, was said to have created a smoother flow of inventory, with less irregularities, and helped ensure that products requested by customers have always been available on the shelves. All of this has resulted in a more cost-effective process, with these savings being translated as well into lower prices in the Walmart stores. Also key to the cost-effectiveness of Walmart’s supply chain strategy and distribution network is the positioning of its nearly 160 distribution centers, which cover almost 120 million square feet and are all within 130 miles of the stores they supply. (Regional distribution centers have been placed at locations that offer lower labor and transportation costs.)