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How to Create a More Sustainable Supply Chain

SAN ANTONIO, TX — The world is changing faster than ever. Having a sustainable supply chain is pivotal for businesses trying to stay afloat amidst all of today’s uncertainty. Sustainability has long been something that has been strived for on an individual level, but now society expects the same from businesses.

In a comprehensive case study by Harvard Business Review, researchers Temsie Whelan and Carly Fink asserted having a sustainable business model in place can affect up to 70 percent of earnings, and that “executives can no longer afford to approach sustainability as a ‘nice to have’ or as solid function separated from the ‘real’ business.” Minimizing environmental impact, reducing unnecessary costs and creating a brand story that authentically connects with an audience are all positive end goals that businesses desire.

However, the precise steps and paths to get there can be difficult to discern. Sometimes the solutions are rooted in areas often overlooked by companies just starting on their path towards a sustainable supply chain. Realistically project customer demand Being able to accurately forecast your customers’ demands allows you to make decisions based on facts rather than gut feelings . When you have data backing up your inventory purchasing decisions, you avoid housing depreciating mountains of backstock. Surplus backstock can hamper your business for years with potential cash flow crunches and it doesn’t do the environment any favors with the carrying cost of monitoring products for quality control. The financial and environmental resources spent to maintain product quality are harmful, unnecessary and avoidable when you have a smart and sustainable supply chain in place.

With a better idea of how much product you will need to fulfill future customer demand, the same resources spent on the materials, space and general overhead could be better allocated elsewhere. This allows you more overall flexibility and the ability to respond to the most recent trends and data available. The data concerning customer demand, which is necessary to optimize your supply chain, is vital to have on hand, but it requires a little help to properly gather and assess. Always look ahead There’s no room for rest in the field of sustainability as new technological breakthroughs occur almost daily.

Staying well-informed and aware of them can be the difference between your business being a flash in the pan or built to run for decades on end. We have all heard the steady approach of automation for years, and a recent study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation confirms that as much as 40 percent of some industries could be replaced by AI within the next 10 years. This will forever change the workforce as we know it, but what does all this mean to supply chains right now?

The answer lies in implementation and preparation. Companies currently taking steps to fully understand new technologies and training employees on how to use them will have the inside edge against competitors who are slow or hesitant to shift their supply chain away from traditional strategies. This kind […]

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