Many supply chain management teams are choosing integrated operations over traditional to maintain a razor sharp competitive edge in the marketplace.It’s just one of many ways for a company to improve sustainability within an economy that has become increasingly cost and environmentally conscious. Integrating operations can be achieved in a couple different ways.
- By merging two or more operations or divisions together to create one unified unit.
- By incorporating advanced technology that shares realtime data from every phase of the supply chain to streamline processes.
Implementing an integrated operations plan at your company could lead to a number of benefits that will ultimately strengthen each link in your supply chain. This is especially true for companies trying to achieve a green supply chain. Here are just a few of the perks:
1. Boosting Efficiency
By merging two or more divisions together, you’re creating cohesion that works for your company on multiple levels to achieve one common outcome – operational efficiency. First, you’re bridging the gap between departments or divisions that already work together. By merging these sectors, you will:
- Weed out unnecessary or unproductive positions
- Fully utilize the talents on your team
- Bolster communication between departments
- Increase the rate of your operational processes
Second, you’ll streamline information gathering and sharing by utilizing advanced technology like premier inventory systems that provide improved means for green supply chain management to assessing stock and ordering necessities, which will result in:
- Better realtime information from which to base decisions
- Less ordering mistakes which equates to less wasted time
- More comprehensive view of inventory and its surrounding network
Other advanced technologies might include the adoption of a unified communications system for the office that acts as the ultimate communication bridge by allowing seamless operability between incoming calls, database information, email, instant messaging, fax and more.
2. Boosting Productivity
Your green supply chain as a whole will start to move at a much faster rate when divisions are in close contact, the company is utilizing its most talented employees and departments implement state-of-the-art tools to save time and provide immediate, quality information that influences daily decision making. Integrated operations will essentially simplify the business process to achieve higher levels of productivity from staff and green supply chain management without triggering longer workdays or an unfair level of output. This increase in productivity occurs organically as a result of bolstered communication and information access.
3. Consolidating Space
By combining departments, you’ll also be simultaneously saving physical space within your company that can be repurposed or eliminated from the operational equation. Through the utilization of advanced technology, you’re also helping to prevent over-stock, which saves room and promotes a higher level of organization.
4. Energy Efficiency
Lets say you decided to eliminate newly freed space from your company operations. We’re talking less space to heat and cool and less electricity used by light fixtures and office equipment like computers, phone systems and printers. This could greatly reduce your environmental footprint and put your company on the fast track to green supply chain functionality.
Furthermore, customers are maintaining a watchful eye on green practices more now than ever before. It’s become trendy to be environmentally savvy and could help your company to compete against others while also paying it forward to our planet.
5. Cutting Costs on Supplies
Through merging of divisions and weeding out of unnecessary positions, you’re also saving on office supplies and employee salary and benefit costs that could otherwise go toward productive employee bonuses, equipment and software upgrades or the adoption of energy efficient fixtures to help achieve green certification. Green certification can make your company eligible for tax incentives and will overall lessen the cost required to run your operation.
Through advanced technology, your green supply chain management will be able to make smarter purchasing decisions based on real time, accurate data. Gone will be the days when over-buying either wasted money or wasted time. Ordering and tracking will become a simple, automated responsibility with fewer hiccups and hence, less overtime hours spent working to correct supply stocks. Moving your business operations to a cloud-based platform will enhance information sharing and reduce paper consumption by increasing your staff’s ability to electronically pass pertinent documents back and forth regardless of geographic location.
When you get down to it, green supply chains aren’t just the newest industry trend; they are essential evolutions that must be embraced in order to remain or advance within the industry. Green supply chain management that actively pursues integrated operations for their supply chain aren’t just developing a more appealing reputation behind their company, they are significantly reducing operational costs and driving the talents of their employees to new heights, which influences productivity, efficiency and overall, company pride and market position.
About Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.