This week I want to talk about the importance of collaboration in business.

First, I want to offer a great big thank you to all those who read my column and tell me how much you enjoy it!   I really appreciate you and look forward to your suggestions for other topics  of interest in the business field.

This week I want to talk about the importance of collaboration in business.  With the ever-increasing cost of fuel and energy, which all rolls down hill to shipping and material costs, I think this might be something we could all work on.

Americans are competitive in everything, including manufacturing/production.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted an annual survey of executives showing that the USA was viewed as the top destination for future foreign direct investment.  (The first time since 2001) This is good news considering the outsourcing we’ve seen in the past several years.  Is this something we can build upon?   Let’s hope so. 

So, if we can call this momentum, how do we capitalize on it?   How about focusing on building the types of long-term, local entrepreneurial supply chains of small businesses that serve as a natural magnet for our companies? 

The reality is:   Every company depends on a supply chain for efficiency, productivity, and competitive advantage over others.  A strong supply chain of small businesses can be a determining factor for locating production in a particular area.  It really is a win/win situation for all involved in the manufacture of any object.

With this in mind, during my next meeting with local industry, I will ask plant managers for a list of their suppliers of whom I will contact for their interest in our area.   If we can recruit them to our area, it will not only make our local industry more successful due to cost reductions and a reduction in service failures, it will help us grow our local economy and open up jobs in our County. 

Going forward, I hope to be able to build upon what we have here now through partnerships.  By combining the supplier with the manufacturer on a local basis, the bottom line means more profit and more jobs. 

Cleburne County Economic Developer Dara Samuel of Heber Springs writes her “Let’s Talk” column on Fridays.  She can be reached at 300 W. Main in Heber Springs and at 501-362-8402.