Green Supply Chain: Where to start?

When faced with the task of greening your supply chain, where do you start? You may even start by asking what is a supply chain? Very briefly described, supply chain is all the steps involved in getting a product to the end customer. For a tangible product, this means obtaining raw materials, turning them into your product and then delivering them to your customer. In many cases a single company does not produce all of the components and resources needed to complete this task. Building all of the components of a computer would mean manufacturing the computer chips, producing plastics, electrical components, all the way to LED lights, etc. The basic business model does not include the production of every item on a bill of materials. To solve this problem companies tend to address their make or buy decisions by weighing out the benefits of manufacturing vs. sourcing. If outsourcing costs less or the company does not have the expertise to produce the product in question, they will opt to purchase it from another company rather than invest in the resources necessary for production. When this decision is made the company gives up the control and oversight of the manufacturing process. This is where the challenge of greening a reseller’s supply chain becomes difficult. [Read more…]