With the increasing concern on environmental issues globally, businesses are under so much pressure to help protect the earth. It’s now more than just about corporate social responsibility. It’s also about meeting the demands of consumers. Because many of them now understand the importance of making more sustainable and eco-friendly decisions, the focus on environmentalism became strong. For businesses, this starts right at the beginning of the supply chain.
What happens during the supply chain significantly affects the end result of your products. Depending on the type of business your supply chain operates on, the switch to sustainability isn’t always going to be a smooth ride. But, it’s achievable, when you know the right techniques.
In this article, you’ll be given five tips that’ll set you in the right direction of having a more sustainable supply chain management.
1. Map Out Your Supply Chain
‘Failing to plan, is like planning to fail.’ One of the reasons why a supply chain can be wasteful is because it’s not efficiently mapped out. It’s highly unlikely for your team to make that switch successfully when you don’t even have a comprehensive understanding of how your supply chain works and flows.
First off, you can start with a visual understanding of your supply chain. Firstly, how to set up a company? From your materials to your distributor, how are they managed? Is the process efficient? This is necessary, so you can identify the changes that need to be implemented in your supply chain. This doesn’t necessarily have to be big changes. Even small changes, in every step, is a good enough start.
Second, have a clear representation of all the environmental challenges faced by suppliers, globally, and use that information to guide your sustainable solutions.
2. Use Recyclable Materials
Using recyclable and biodegradable materials wherever and whenever you can in your supply chain is another good tip to apply. There’s no sustainability when you don’t use recyclable or biodegradable materials for your products. This specifically pertains to your product packaging.
Try using cardboard and paper packaging, for instance. They are versatile and can be used for most, if not all, types of products. Want a more eco-friendly solution? Plant-based packaging and recycled plastics are also very popular nowadays.
3. Simplify Supply Chain Process
As you map out your supply chain, a tip you may also want to consider doing is simplifying your supply chain process. While major changes will surely work, there’s no better way to simplify your supply chain process than to focus on small but beneficial changes.
Study your supply chain process. Perhaps there are areas in your supply chain that can be simplified. This is a good thing, as it brings about many benefits, one of which is costsavings. The simpler your process, the lesser expenses you’ll have to cover throughout the whole supply chain process. Then, there are the obvious environmental effects as well. A simpler supply chain process also means lesser resources will be used – and subsequently wasted.
How can you simplify your supply chain process? Here are some ideas:
- Improve your inventory forecasting method;
- Use an integrated or automated monitoring system;
- Go through regular evaluations, so you can identify bottlenecks in your supply chain.
4. Recruit Supply Chain Professionals
With the many changes in the business industry, one of the most pressing has to do with switching to sustainability. When making big shifts in your businesses, it’s wise to take expert advice. In the supply chain, these experts pertain to the supply chain professionals. They dedicate their time and effort to do research and learn more about the supply chain.
Supply chain professionals can help you apply the appropriate strategies your business needs. With the many ways to incorporate sustainability in the supply chain, you have to know that not all of those strategies are going to work for everyone. You still have to figure out which specific methodis the best for your business’ supply chain.
5. Train Current Supply Chain Team
As you hire supply chain professionals, take the time to re-train your current supply chain team, too. The more up-to-date they are with changes in the industry, the better your team can work well enough in implementing sustainability in your supply chain.
This is an important step in driving changes in your entire supply chain. External resources such as seminars and educational materials are there to make those changes feasible. It’s up to you to make use of those changes, for the benefit of your own business’ supply chain.
Nowadays, it’s essential for businesses to comply with sustainability practices. The demand of consumers for eco-friendly products became stronger as the need to save the earth increased. If your business’ supply chain isn’t yet sustainable, then you’re missing out. Your supply chain management team has to adapt to the changes to be more efficient and successful. Start your journey towards sustainability with the tips above.
Article Submitted By Community Writer