Achieving Supply Chain Sustainability
Whether the goal is to cut costs, improve their reputation or meet new regulations, businesses are stepping up to be more sustainable. Regardless of their reasoning, the demand for sustainability is at an all-time high and will only increase as we head into the future.
Identify Why Your Company Wants to Become More Sustainable
The first step in achieving sustainability is to identify why it is important to your supply chain. According to the Network for Business Sustainability, the motivation behind sustainability comes from at least one of the five “C’s”: customers, compliance, costs, competitive advantage or conscience. It is essential to understand the why behind your efforts before you begin to implement them. For example, if the main reason you wish your company to be more sustainable is the customers, then you will want to make sure that your efforts (a) are directly geared towards positively impacting your current customers and (b) that you are sharing your efforts with the public to attract new customers. At NOTS Logistics, we will meet with a customer directly to discuss their sustainability goals and offer solutions on how we can help them achieve those goals over a realistic time period.
Determine Processes to Become More Sustainable
Once you have identified your company’s key motivators for sustainability, it is time to assess its current processes and determine what areas need changed and how you can begin to change them. You need to develop a game plan for improvement. Figure out your opportunities for increased sustainability, and then decide what resources can encourage change and what may threaten the change from occurring. Do you have policies in place to enforce sustainable practices? Is your leadership team capable of allocating these changes from the top down of your organization? These are examples of many questions that can help steer your organization in the direction of making consistent positive changes. Our management team meets with customers either daily or weekly to review their current processes in which we handle to assure they are efficient and seamless throughout.
Monitor Your Processes to Determine What Works and What Not Works
After you have created a plan of action, you not only have to enforce the plan throughout your entire workforce, but you also need to monitor the change. Unfortunately, sustainability is not something that is achieved overnight. In fact, you may find that components of your initial plan are not working, and the plan needs to be adjusted. Your management team has to continually be assessing the processes to ensure that they are working and to determine the next steps. That is right, there is always a next step in sustainability. At NOTS Logistics, our leaders annually audit our ISO and work instructions processes against what our day to day operations team actually performs to assure that we are truly cultivating a continuous improvement environment. Then, all new standard operating procedures (SOPs) are reviewed by the original creator, the management team and internal auditors before they are implemented into our operations.
It is important to understand that achieving sustainability in the supply chain is a marathon, not a sprint. You may notice improvements have been made. However, in a year’s time, your plan may become dated. In today’s commerce driven world, new regulations are always coming down the pipeline. Not to mention, companies across the globe are all working aggressively to outdo one another in their sustainability efforts. The stakes are high, and customers are paying attention. According to a report conducted by Roland Berger, over 75% of consumers consider corporate social responsibility when purchasing products. The days of working towards sustainability simply because “it is the right thing to do” are gone. Companies have to step up or they will fall behind.
How Has NOTS Logistics Practiced Sustainability?
At NOTS Logistics, we are continuously working to create effective, sustainable solutions for our own processes and our clients’ processes. Below you will find a few of the many examples of our sustainability initiative:
- We upgraded to LED lightbulbs at 85%+ of our warehouse buildings throughout Illinois to decrease energy use by over 75%.
- Our transportation division migrated to 100% online billing to decrease the use of paper. Our warehouse division also processes 100% of bills online.
- We recycle 60% of our paper consumption, sending it to a shredding service.
- Our transportation division has been working diligently on eliminating empty miles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
- We have also been utilizing Biodiesel Fuel with an additive from corn, which is better for the environment.
At NOTS Logistics, we have extensive experience in achieving (and maintaining) sustainability in the supply chain. Our team works with a wide variety of clients in helping them create more sustainable processes. We accomplish this for our clients through our four core services: warehousing, transportation management, customized distribution and workforce management.
Connect With Us
17848 Mockingbird Road
Nashville, IL 62263
Phone: (800) 642-5436
Fax: (618) 478-5356