SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is an essential part of every business. The supply chain of a company is its network consisting of all the companies’ suppliers, itself, and its customers. Without a successful SCM system, no matter how small a company might seem, a business cannot successfully operate. The supply chain encompasses every aspect of a business’s operations. It begins with raw materials, continues through production phases, creating finished goods, through distribution, and finally to the end consumer.
The figure above shows SCM’s importance by graphically organizing how it encompasses the daily operations of a business. As we can see, SCM includes every portion relevant to a company’s operations. General benefits a successful SCM presents a company are: •
Less uncertainty, errors, delays and losses along the supply chain •
Lower costs by improving efficiency and production
Low stock size
Better information sharing and highlighting
These contributions give a company another asset: competitive advantage. If a Company A’s SCM operates more efficiently than another Company B’s SCM, then Company A can produce its product at a lower cost and sell at a lower price. Supply Chain Management is constantly seeking ways to improve itself, to become more efficient and gain the competitive advantage. I believe a company without a SCM system will flounder at best. Green supply refers to the way in which innovations in supply chain management and industrial purchasing may be considered in the context of the environment1. Environmental supply chain management consists of the purchasing function’s involvement in activities that include reduction, recycling, reuse and the substitution of materials2. The practice of monitoring and improving environmental performance in the supply chain3. Integrating environmental thinking into a supply chain management, including product design, material resourcing and selection, manufacturing processes, delivery of the final product to the consumer as well as end-of-life management of the product after its useful life4. From these four definitions we see that there is a range of author focus and purpose on green supply chains and their management. The lack of consensus in practice and definition of green supply chain is not surprising, since its foundational elements of corporate environmental management and supply chain management are both relatively new areas of study and practice. THE GREEN MOVEMENT
The Green Movement is a trendy spin on Environmentalism. Most commonly today, anything that reduces harmful impacts on the environment finds itself labeled “Green.” Environmentalism is a social movement that advocates sustainable management of resources and the protection and restoration of our natural environment. As the world focuses on “Going Green” companies are looked upon to reduce their environmental impact, or footprints. Much legislation passes to increase our planets sustainability. ENVIRONMENTALISM IN BUSINESSES TODAY
Businesses must begin thinking green today to retain future competitiveness. “There is now a widespread acknowledgement among business leaders that green will be a core requirement for doing business in the future (Smith, 2007, p.52).” Businesses must adapt to customer preferences. As people in the world become more concerned with environmentalism, businesses must conform to get ahead. THE CONVERGENCE OF SCM AND ENVIRONMENTALISM
Environmentalism and Supply Chain Management hold the same high-level objectives. Two principles associated with both concepts are efficiency and sustainability. These two concepts complement each other with their goals. A company beginning a Green Supply Chain Management system must look at both the goals of environmentalism and SCM in order to determine and institute initiatives. GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Increased public concern with environmental impacts gives reason enough to...
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