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Connecting the Dots Between Supply Chain and Sustainability

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,
April 17 2013

Making sure the right product is in the right place and at the right time is the basic premise of all effective supply chains, but some companies are taking that concept a step further. Intent on going beyond the "basics" and leveraging their supply chains for a higher purpose, some companies are taking a step back and examining the links between sustainability and their supply chains.

Recent worldwide, catastrophic events have helped drive the heightened focus on supply chain sustainability as an organizational discipline. "Events like the tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand taught us a lot about supply chain sustainability," says John Davies, vice president and senior analyst at GreenBiz Group, "and about how not to get caught with your pants down when the inevitable happens."

Davies, who recently published the article Improving Links Between Supply Chain and Sustainability, says developing strong ties between supply chain and sustainability starts with the supplier selection process. Look at what each vendor is using in terms of raw materials, what's being incorporated into the products that you're purchasing, the environments that the company and its suppliers are operating in, and what finished goods are being produced.

Examine the viability of those suppliers, says Davies, and place particular emphasis on any vendors that your company is particularly reliant on (i.e., you can't build your products without them). "The more you can understand about your supply chain," says Davies, "the more you will mitigate the risk."

Microsoft Dynamics ERP customers can leverage their solution's supply chain management capabilities to gather and assess the information ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at bridgetmc@earthlink.net.

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