Flexibility Remains Key to Business Sustainability Strategy

image: puzzleUnforeseen yet sometimes preventable circumstances in business can sometimes put supply chains relationships at risk.  While many organizations target immediate procurement return, the more well known and leading supply chain companies continuously assess the health of their supply base. This leads our sustainability consulting to continuously probe the following questions:

Are you aware of the health of your suppliers and how they could be affecting your business? 
Are you aware of the potential cost and business risk they may be incurring though short-term or misaligned supply chain activity? 
Is supply chain flexibility part of your business sustainability strategies? 

A recent post featured on Supply Management, Debenhams Chief Wants Supply Chain Flexibility, addresses some of the supply challenges and strategies for the coming year. Focusing specifically on the volatile nature of today’s retail industry, our sustainability consulting practice finds applicable insights into broader sustainable supply chain management. 

“It is right to remain cautious about the strength of consumer confidence over the next 12 months given the uncertain economic outlook. We will therefore continue to run the business with tight management of costs and stocks, retaining as much flexibility as possible in the supply chain to enable us to deal with whatever the market presents.” - Michael Sharp, CEO Debenhams

Within our professional consulting practice we encounter a wide variety of sustainable supply chain actions aimed at adding visibility and focusing attention on supply stakeholders.  We have found common characteristics among sustainable organizations to have the ability to effectively manage the flow of information across key business stakeholder relationships.  

Today, the true ‘business sustainability’ differentiators are those who understand and actively manage their supplier and customer relationships.  It is this level of supply management that provides the necessary insight and flexibility to weather any economic storm.  As we approach 2012, our sustainability consulting practice believes the next generation of ‘sustainable’ supply management will continue to evolve.  

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