Over on Supply Chain Digest, there's an article on listening to the "voice of the supplier" that I recommend everyone check out. The piece talks about how in collaborative buyer / supplier relationships, suppliers can play a key role in suggesting supply chain improvements. But the essential nugget of advice is that procurement organizations need to solicit the input in the first place -- and not just sit around and wait for it. Citing an earlier report from AT Kearney, the Supply Chain Digest staff talk about practical tips fort targeting the feedback with the greatest impact. These areas include diagnosing misalignment because "when perceptions of requirements are not aligned, it causes problems for both buyers and sellers." It also includes looking at the collaborative impact of changes and product design for "companies [often] make changes to designs, product requirements, packaging, supply chain/logistics and other item attributes without asking suppliers the impact on their costs and hence ultimately prices". In any event, the article is definitely worth a quick look, as it also gets into some of the practical steps of implementing voice of the supplier programs.