Thursday, January 24, 2013

2012 Review: Sustainable Supply Chains

This review of sustainable supply chains in 2012 was written by Julie Urlaub and published on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. 

When you toss a pebble into a pond, a series of concentric ripples propagate out extending far beyond the point of entry. With a number of business sustainability pebbles being tossed into the pond today, one can’t help but wonder what effects the resulting ripples might have on the supply chain. With legislative pressures and shifting consumer expectations positioned to effect business consumption, are the supply chains ready to respond? Will your business ride the high or low of the ‘green’ bullwhip in 2013?

Within our professional consulting practice, we find a trademark of sustainable organizations to have the ability to effectively manage the flow of information among key business relationships. The true differentiators are those who understand their supplier and customer relationships and have a fully aligned direction. If you are not sure if your business is prepared for dramatic change, try evaluating your supply chain by asking a few questions:
  • What unforeseen changes resulting from the market changes could result in major disruptions in the supply chain?
  • Are the business value drivers of my key suppliers and customers aligned with the direction of the company?
  • What are the business risks and pressure points that could affect the sustainability of supply?
  • Are business risks accentuated or mitigated by the current supply chain relationship?
Leading companies are answering these questions a bit differently and looking to the supply chain for answers. Below are the top 10 reasons why most companies are incorporating eco awareness into the supply chains.
  • Increase Profitability - Proactively incorporating sustainability concepts into your supply chain will decrease cost and add the value to operations.
  • Asset Utilization – Incorporating greater eco awareness into transportation and inventory practices will increase utilization of key assets.
  • Risk Mitigation – Promoting greater understanding of sustainability within the company’s supply chain will mitigate environmental, social, and market risks.
  • Innovation – Incorporating sustainability concepts into the supply chain will be a catalyst for supplier innovation.
  • Alignment - Negotiating business sustainability policies with suppliers and customers will promote alignment across the supply chain.
  • Continuous Improvement - A common understanding of sustainability concepts, goals and Customer Service - Implementing sustainable best practices within the supply chain will standardize operations and allow for improve customer service.
  • Regulatory Compliance - Green supply chain management will help ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Product Differentiation – Creating uniquely different green supply chain practices will differentiate the company and its products in the market place.
  • Enhance Reputation – Demonstrating green business practices will promote business sustainability and enhance company reputation.
The recent emergence of sustainable supply chain management has provided companies with the opportunity to review processes, materials, and operational concepts from a different perspective. 

Source: Taiga

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