Supply chain sustainability boosts needed


iStock 000009557999Small resized 600Supply chain management can serve many purposes. Employees can enact new policies to increase the speed or efficiency of any process from the acquisition of raw materials to the final sale. Leaders can also improve sustainability efforts, however, enabling improvements to working conditions and environmental impact through their decisions.

According to the Guardian, recent years have not seen great progress in sustainability efforts, but the source suggested several exciting new directions companies can take.

Innovative improvements

The news provider reported that efforts to boost wages and working conditions at manufacturing organizations have been slow to take effect. With some potentially serious shortfalls in standards and process coming to light on the international logistics landscape, the source indicated that gradual improvements to processes are no longer enough. Turning away from and immediately terminating relations with partners in violation of ethics rules is a sound decision, the Guardian noted, as those same companies have become too content in the "journey" to compliance, letting processes take far longer than they should.

Rather than long-term improvement with nebulous performance targets and goals, the Guardian suggested firms should form a long-term plan at the beginning of any relationship with a supplier. This deal would include benchmarks for process improvement, meaning hard-and-fast standards to meet on the road to sustainability. The source noted that such agreements promote visibility and openness and contain plans to eventually have conditions exceed simple compliance with regulations.

Transparent and visible audit results are a cornerstone of the news provider's suggestions for businesses. A powerful and efficient B2B integration system can ensure that information is in the hands of executives who need it, when they need it, with no chance to fabricate or obscure results.

Business benefits

Some managers may see the push to improve sustainable practices as apart from, or even contrary to, the desire to improve efficiency and safeguard the bottom line. According to Area Development, however, some regulatory compliance efforts can lead to large-scale process improvements. Making compliance a strategic rather than tactical priority, the source stated, could lead to positive change.

Area Development found that collaboration technology and methodology developed in the course of boosting sustainability efforts can lead to long-term improvement for processes. Firms can develop strong links and a sense of purpose if goals are standardized under industry regulations. The news provider suggested that pressure to manage carbon could finally unite partners behind a common goal.

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