• September, 2014
  • By: 
    Consensus Building Institute

A Mutual Gains Approach to Global Supply Chain Management - Why Should Companies Care?

Working with communities and international oil companies (Chevron and Shell) in the Niger Delta using the Mutual Gains Approach has underscored for CBI the enormous value that such an approach can offer to improving relationships and results for both sets of stakeholders. There are few sectors as challenging as oil and gas, but – as is often the case – with challenges come enormous opportunities for learning and innovation. "A Mutual Gains Approach to Global Supply Chain Management — Why Should Companies Care?" draws on valuable lessons from our work in the extractive sector, shows how they are applicable to consumer goods supply chains, and lays out the business case for applying the Mutual Gains Approach to stakeholder engagement in global supply chains.

CBI's experience shows that a Mutual Gains Approach to supply chain governance can provide innovative and high-leverage answers to these questions. This approach is particularly relevant today for companies with large, natural resource-intensive supply chains involving millions of smallholder farmers, producers and workers. In the report, CBI also outlines the bottom line gains that are possible with such an approach. The core ideas of the Mutual Gains Approach are twofold: to build trust by identifying and leveraging opportunities for collaboration where companies, their suppliers and their stakeholders share overlapping interests; and to reduce and mitigate conflict where interests and concerns compete, and outlines the four steps to handle a range of stakeholder engagement contexts and concerns. CBI outlines four simple steps to create an over-arching roadmap to handle a vast range of engagement contexts:

  • Prepare (requires internal cross-functional team, define risks to the supply chain) the organization for external engagement
  • Explore issues, options and ways to engage with stakeholders
  • Construct solutions jointly
  • Follow through on commitments

In six case examples, this resource illustrates how this approach can help address supply chain issues, contain costs, improve input reliability, and create conducive operating environments.

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