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McKinsey, the global consulting firm, has done . In some industries, suppliers account for over 80 percent of the value of the products that are produced. In one McKinsey survey of more than 100 large organizations in multiple sectors, companies that regularly collaborated with suppliers demonstrated higher growth, lower operating costs, and greater profitability than their industry peers. Companies with close collaboration with suppliers . Depending on the industry, companies can see cost savings of 5 to 10% and revenue gains of 7 to 10%.

But the vision of a truly integrated supply chain, McKinsey says, has proven difficult to realize. Companies “seeking to increase data sharing and collaboration across their supply networks have faced three principal hurdles.” Those include trust issues, the operating model, and technology. The remainder of this article will focus on the technology issues.

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