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Product Stewards Society > Blog > Posts > All-Star Panel Reflects on Supply Chain Strategies
All-Star Panel Reflects on Supply Chain Strategies

​By Michael Sullivan

Product Stewardship 2018 assembled a blockbuster panel of six product stewardship experts led by two moderators for Complex Risk and Customer Demand Management in Complex Supply Chains. The speakers represented organizations from technology, biotech, and aerospace. There was even a trade association represented. With such a variety of panelists, there was someone to speak to almost every attendee. 

The conversation started by considering what level of data to provide to partners. Specific challenges were discussed related to the co-development of products. Several speakers addressed how to gather and share data at both ends of the supply chain. Communication was a key theme, not only in ensuring information flows between partners, but also how to best manage internal communication and make sure product stewardship is involved in the development process at the right points.

Downstream manufacturers shared their strategies for ensuring their standards were met by upstream suppliers. One speaker shared how they have instituted industry-wide reporting tools to make it easier for companies to report data consistently and easily, decreasing administrative burden. Several attendees spoke about how they work with suppliers who that fail to meet agreed upon standards.

Attendees had the opportunity to ask pointed questions about how the speakers’ organizations handled specific challenges, including how to cultivate alternate suppliers, and strategies for instituting product stewardship at companies without large resources.