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GreenBiz: Simple Steps to Tackle Complex Supply Chain Sustainability Issues

Public By in Enablon
#Supply Chain Management
GreenBiz, May 02, 2011

Simple Steps to Tackle Complex Supply Chain Sustainability Issues


By Matthew Wheeland

(…) In order to take a look at the ways that PVH and other companies are managing the increasingly complicated supply chains driving the global economy, last week convened a free webcast on reducing supply chain risks and achieving environmental, social and regulatory compliance. The webcast, sponsored by Enablon, brought together Paul Baier of Groom Energy; Kiku Loomis; and David Hoffman, Enablon's Responsible Supply Chain Specialist. The three talked about the main drivers of supply chain management across industries, and then looked at how Philips-Van Heusen has put Enablon's RSC software to work in its global supply chain.

To begin, Baier laid out the five key drivers that are still moving companies toward comprehensive supply-chain management -- despite the negative impacts on the market from the recession, climategate, the lack of cap-and-trade legislation, and a general diminishing of consumer green sentiments. The drivers are:

* Requests from top customers (Walmart, P&G, Pepsi, etc.)
* Improved brand- and company-level images
* Cost savings -- energy and carbon are the flip sides of the same coin
* Investor pressure
* GHG regulations, like California's AB32

A poll of the audience of the live webcast found that the top driver for supply chain performance management is to identify and mitigate supplier risk (50 percent), followed by enabling cost savings (36.3 percent) and reducing your carbon footprint (31.8 percent).

Enablon's David Hoffman walked the audience through the challenges, old and new, around increasing transparency within an organization's supply chain. Whether employees are facing old challenges like a lack of resources and overwhelming complexity or new challenges like carbon footprinting or product traceability, the latest generation of supply chain software can help make the project more manageable.

But more than anything, the first step to addressing the challenge of supply chain management is to change how your company focuses on sustainability. (…)

Kiku Loomis offered a compelling reason why supply chain management programs have a big payoff. In the apparel industry, which has long had a sharp eye focused on its manufacturers in overseas factories, keeping a good relationship with suppliers and stakeholders means that when the inevitable problems with individual suppliers arise means that your company is viewed not as a potential target, but as a partner, Loomis said. (…)

In addition to a detailed walkthrough of how PVH uses Enablon's software to manage its supply chain, the question and answer session during the webcast offers some tips on how to work with suppliers at various levels to get the best data, and how to audit and track the veracity of the data. (…)

{{LNK|View the webinar recording|}}

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