Defining the Structure for a Sustainable Supply Chain

image: sustainable supply chainThe recent emergence of Supply Chain Management (SCM) over the past few decades has proven that there is an opportunity to reduce cost and add value in the supply chain.  This expanded view incorporates the role that business sustainability concepts play in supply chain value creation.  Digging deeper into the details, our sustainability consulting finds that traditional supply chain management structures may not be entirely aligned with this evolved understanding. As such, we seek insight into the steps companies are taking to enhance business sustainability in the supply chain.

GreenBiz weighs in on the conversation with their recent post, 4 Ways to Make Your Supply Chain More Dynamic, Resilient.  In this article, the author discusses the business sustainability challenges today’s supply chains are facing in a complex and dynamic economic climate.  Explaining that most SCM frameworks were developed in a time of greater stability, the ‘now generation’ faces a new level of complexity.  Thus, the article offers several insights to ensure greater business sustainability:

  • Turning data into action – Regularly monitor and analyze market trigger points and operating data in almost real-time -- and then quickly determine the right course of action to execute on it.
  • Adaptive structure – Having an adaptable operating structure that makes it possible to capitalize on opportunities as they arise and respond to supply chain risks without disruption.
  • Flexibility in innovation – Create dynamic operations that can contribute to their growth objectives and the achievement of greater operational efficiency.
  • Agile execution – The ability to very quickly adapt operations to respond to market changes whether they result from new market opportunities, a natural disaster or other business variables, thereby enhancing the company's performance.

At Taiga Company, we believe that building a comprehensive business sustainability plan includes incorporating sustainability concepts in the supply chain.  Our sustainability consulting and small business resources provide information and tools to clients seeking to develop successful business sustainability strategies that meet specific business needs.   As part of this effort, we do our best to keep up with the latest happenings on all business sustainability fronts, especially advancements in sustainable supply chain management.

The next level of sustainable supply chain management includes a new level of responsibility across all business activities.  In addition to the lessons defined above, we advocate in our sustainable business programs that successful implementations will require visibility, engagement and stakeholder alignment with company defined business sustainability objectives.  With this insight, companies can build strategies and fully aligned business sustainability plans.

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