Global Supply Chains and the Necessity Of Making Operations Safer, More Sustainable

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Global Supply Chains and the Necessity Of Making Operations Safer, More Sustainable

SustainabilityHQ Highlights (09.20.2016)
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SustainabilityHQ Highlights (09.20.2016)
Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 10:45am

Savvy corporate managements recognize that the supply chain of their company represents a huge opportunity for cost savings, more efficient management of procurement, and the extension of important health & safety practices beyond their own operations. And, that addressing the inherent risk within their global supply network of partnering organizations (suppliers large and small) is a critical risk management consideration, taking the supply chain to the company board room (that is, the directors’ responsibility to oversee enterprise risk management approaches).

Compared to just 30 years ago or so, and the end of the Cold War, the network of suppliers (and their many locations) represents an astonishing change in corporate strategy, operations and management oversight for the average large-cap and mid-cap company.  There are important drivers for these changes.

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First is the trend toward globalization of numerous elements of operations for virtually all businesses.  Even a small retailer today can attract and service customers that are 7,000 miles distant, and the “store” can be totally on line.  The second critical driver is the technology that makes this possible, with the foundation being the reach of the internet, and use of the World Wide Web.  And the third major force for change over the past several decades is the global consumer thirst for ever-lower priced goods and greater competition within the retail space. 

In that regard, we are truly entered into the Age of the Internet of Things.  And so the focus of corporate management on the supply chain is of critical importance to business enterprises -- from large-cap public companies all the way down the value chain to their smallest (independent) suppliers of goods and services.

Companies in developed nations -- USA, Canada, Europe, and United Kingdom -- have a plethora of compliance regulations to follow.  Moving to less developed economies for their outsourcing, early on the suppliers in far off lands could have less safe and even unsafe operations.  It was “out of sight.”  No more!  Stakeholders are looking more closely these days at the source of goods and considering the working conditions at those sourcing points.  And so the growing emphasis on “supplier performance management models,” as described by Pierre-Francois Thaler, co-CEO of the EcoVadis organization, who shares importance perspectives in our Top Story this week. 

EcoVadis provides “sustainability scorecard ratings” for major customers to evaluate their supply chain partners. (There are 21 CSR performance indicators, 150 commodities, 110 countries in the EcoVadis scoring system.)  At G&A Institute, we assist our corporate clients in responding to the EcoVadis surveys – these are very comprehensive.  There is important information for managers of all sizes of business organizations in the interview published by Supply Chain Digital.

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights. You can view the full Highlights by using the following links. Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of September 20, 2016