With more economic pressures and market volatility impacting businesses across all industries, creating initiatives to attract new customers and retain existing ones has never been more difficult. The rise of e-commerce and an increasing number of competitors makes finding differentiators and efficiencies all the more important. One implementation that can achieve both of these goals is “going green”, or instituting sustainable measures.
A study by Greenbiz.com shows that millennials are twice as likely to choose a product based on that company’s environmental record and practices. Another poll done by Time Magazine showed that almost 50% of Americans favored environmental protection over economic growth. With eco-responsibility being such a concern for consumers, companies need to address this issue and leverage the benefits to continue to succeed. What better place to begin than your supply chain? Here are 4 ways to efficiently and affordably bring sustainability to your fulfillment center and transportation operations.
- Introduce Automation: Automation, where possible, can improve efficiency, accuracy and expand resources. Everything from procurement to inventory management and reporting can reduce expenses on paper and energy, resulting in the promotion of “green” operations.
- Think Proactively: Higher visibility into your supply chain allows a company to identify and mitigate unnecessary risks. This can also help reduce costly returns and delays by understanding the inner workings of your supply chain.
- Efficiently Manage Inventory: Mismanagement of inventory can be a drain on resources and the environment in every stage of the supply chain. Reducing the strain on your resources by streamlining the inventory you have to transport and warehouse can help manage your inventory more efficiently.
- Transportation Optimization: One of the key areas where your supply chain can have a positive impact on the environment is through your transportation operation. This starts at the fulfillment center. Ensuring orders are picked, packed and loaded on time to reduce returns, reroutes and expedited shipping not only saves money, but reduces mileage and carbon emissions. Using data and visibility software (WMS, TMS, etc.) can identify places where transportation can work more efficiently.
There are many ways companies can create sustainable environments. The supply chain is a great area to create tremendous savings and eco-conscious initiatives. Barrett Distribution Centers creates customized supply chain solutions with a focus on sustainability.