Learning How to Monitor Sustainable Supply Chain Signals

image: sign postsPerformance measures have always been a part of business.  Over time, management has learned to incorporate metrics that are more applicable to the company's extended stakeholder groups.  Our sustainability consulting practice finds these leading organizations are now embracing more advanced performance management practices to include business sustainability indicators.  However, questions still remain on the ‘what and how’ of measured performance in the supply chain. 

“When monitoring your supply base, don’t use a generic list of distress signals that lacks the precision necessary to capture performance. Segment your suppliers into groups with similar characteristics so you can customize warning signs and plan an appropriate response. Increase supplier information sharing among internal stakeholders by making business partners feel more accountable for supply risk.” –Procurement Strategy Council

It is evolving perspectives, such as these, that are causing companies to redefine the criteria for business performance.  Our sustainability consulting experience has found one such alternative would be a focus on incremental and continuous improvement relative to traditional measures.  Rather than jumping directly to consequence and accountability, a global business shift toward greater transparency and aligned business sustainability metrics could drive significant change.  

  • What are the business sustainability risks poised to limit company growth?
  • What are the business sustainability threats that may impact stakeholder return?
  • How have recent business actions impacted internal and external costs?
  • How have recent business actions affected revenue?

Business sustainability pursuits focused aligned performance measures across the supply chain offer a positive incentive for sustainability measurement and reporting.  Focusing business sustainability attention towards rather than away from traditional measures of financial success, leading organizations can reevaluate their economic and sustainability metrics, improve internal and external communication, and create line-of-sight across the value chain.

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