Each business has its own unique relationship with its supply chain. Some relationships are stronger than others; therefore, the drivers to implement change can be quite different from one organization to the next. However, our business sustainability consulting experience has shown that every supply chain can benefit from greater visibility. The recent drive to incorporate ‘Sustainability’ into Supply Chain Management has inspired companies to reexamine their internal and external processes. Progressive organizations, like Wal-Mart and IBM, are evaluating their procurement, sourcing and supplier management from a new perspective to create additional value. But as we have discussed, not everyone sees the world from the same perspective as a Wal-Mart or IBM. Incorporating sustainability concepts into business relationships creates, at a minimum, line of sight across the value chain. This visibility provides a path to the greater value of alignment and engagement. The sustainability concept of ‘Alignment’ and its impact on the supply chain is well documented. Creating alignment across the value chain can improve operational efficiency, reduce cost, and add value. Examples include: • Internal Business Processes: Corporate goals focused on the process improvements which promote and enable a sustainable supply chain. • Employee Engagement: Individual and organizational performance metrics which support corporate business sustainability goals • Customer Expectations: Sustainable product expectations clearly communicated down the supply chain. • Supplier Integration: Creating integrated processes with supplier to improve communication, increase efficiency, and ensure common sustainable processes. • Learning and Growth: Create working relationships that promote change, innovation, and growth across the supply chain. Customers and suppliers grow and develop with your business. • Financial Balance: Allowing all partners the ability to succeed financially creates a stable business environment and an aligned business sustainability direction. Creating SCM alignment through increased eco awareness, applied sustainability concepts or a fully integrated sustainable supply chain can have immediate business impacts. Our professional consulting and small business resources provide guidance to companies seeking to make significant changes in their operations.
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