October 2019 | Commentary | Green Landscape: Supply Chain Sustainability

Tech Can Turn Your Supply Chain Into a Well-Oiled Green Machine

Tags: Green Logistics, Logistics, Supply Chain, Sustainability

Pete Zimmerman, North American Software Sales Manager, VAI, 631-588-9500

The majority of your customers want to make their consumption habits more sustainable and their loyalty will only go so far if your brand doesn't adapt.

Despite growing demand for sustainable products, and consumers who value green practices over the green in their wallets, CPG brands are falling short. If they want to succeed, smart brands need to recognize the consequences of getting sustainability wrong.

When this realization occurs at your company—if it hasn't already—you need to be ready to implement a vision of how your supply chain's sustainable practices can factor into the company's overarching green initiatives.

Think different

Brands love to publicize sustainability initiatives that show an immediate physical impact or presence. Solar panels, wind farms, and green roofs are easy visuals of environmental commitment. But it's not always as simple to imagine the effect even small changes to the supply chain can have, let alone demonstrate this impact to the customer. With the right strategy and tools, logistics professionals can prove how scalable solutions have a big impact on business and the environment.

  • Tap into blockchain. Blockchain's reputation for causing an energy drain is earned, yet misleading. The technology has far more applications than just powering cryptocurrency—it has the potential to reshape the supply chain.
  • Blockchain-powered solutions offer the vastly improved ability to track goods and capture costs. This increased visibility also allows businesses to keep a much closer eye on the vendors carrying products through the supply chain.

    Touting the green initiatives of partners and vendors is often a core component of sustainability plans, and blockchain-based systems make it easier to keep these parties honest.

  • Be resourceful. Incremental changes to your company's impact on the supply chain can make a big difference. Maintaining an accurate, real-time picture of inventory in the form of a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can be key to this reality. Reducing the number of shipments through a given facility can add up quickly in the form of lower carbon emissions and energy use.
  • Additionally, ERP software synthesizes millions of new data points, so proving the resulting environmental and financial impact of your sustainability efforts is a simple task.

  • Spread the word. If you've committed to giving customers more eco-conscious options, tell them about it. Also communicate your success internally, and support departments like marketing in spreading the word to customers about your green practices.
  • Use social media and targeted ads to share the news about choosing sustainable vendors, implementing new tech, and reaching milestones.

THE VALUE OF GREEN

Technology has the power to reshape the supply chain and make practices more sustainable in the process. As all companies look to match their processes with customers' environmental values, technology that creates a more transparent, efficient operation will be a key driver toward a healthier planet.






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