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Supply Chain & Logistics Surveys Underscore Positive Benefits, Challenges Ahead for Sustainability- New Blog Post

Posted By Dave Meyer, January 13, 2011 at 2:42 PM, in Category: Global Value Networks

Hello all- I am inviting you all to review and discuss my latest post: Supply Chain & Logistics Surveys Underscore Positive  Benefits, Challenges Ahead for Sustainability  http://bit.ly/fKGAUN , exerted below from my Value-streaming blog (WWW.valuestream2009.word-press.com).

Geesh.  You’d think by the Twitter chatter that erupted from this  weeks article in the Environmental Leader that the sky was falling.  The  headline “Supply Chain Chiefs: Sustainability Isn’t Key” caught readers’ attention, but perhaps the messaging was taken a bit too negatively.  The  article was focused on two recent surveys by eyefortransport  (EFT), a  very knowledgeable and (in my view) a marquee market research  entity  focused on the transportation industry.  In the survey, chief  supply chain officers were asked what key challenges they saw for 2011.   Well, a majority that responded did not view sustainability as a key  challenge in 2010/2011.  According to the survey,   “supply chain officers identified the “biggest business challenges   driving their supply chain agenda” as variability and forecasting (42   percent), cost containment and reduction (39 percent), and supply chain   visibility (35 percent). Sustainability strategies and practices only   ranked 11th in the list of concerns, with just over 15 percent.”

A second EFT survey of logistics service users’ ranked sustainability only 15th in importance out of 24 challenges they face, behind such factors as  the economy, cost control and fuel price fluctuations.  Meanwhile, the  survey noted that respondents from third-party logistics services, “ranked sustainability sixth, with the economy, cost control and demand forecasting coming tops.”

The  two surveys results yielded no real surprises. And where some  may see  this as a sort of “green Armageddon”, I only view this as a  “teachable  moment”.  One of the comments to the post rightly noted   that “supply chain sustainability is a powerful means of supply chain   streamlining, cost reduction and agility enhancement, and the topic can   be used to improve communications and business relationships through  the  supply chain.”

Because the principal  question  posed was “what are the biggest  challenges that supply chain managers’  face”, I’ll go out on a limb to  say that “first mover” supply chain  managers are already getting a  handle around this issue and maybe the  “concern” level is not as great  as in the past.  In fact,  the survey results suggested that in the past  couple of years,  organizations are generally acting in a more  proactive, sustainable  manner.  As the survey went on to indicate, well over 60 percent of those companies surveyed had implemented or were initiating sustainability focused efforts in 2010- ranking around 10th out of nearly 40 supply chain management project categories-  that’s  actually a pretty good number!   In  the logistics survey, most  respondents noted a far higher level of  positive environmental  performance in 2010 compared with 2009.

You  see- it’s all about how you look at a situation- greening of the  supply  chain through sustainability is not looking too shabby in my  book,  compared to just a few years ago.

You can view the remainder of the article a: http://bit.ly/fKGAUN


Written by Dave Meyer


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