Green supply chain analysis

If there’s one thing I can urge companies to do is to request that their orders be shipped complete, whether it’s from an office supply company or for your new laptop. When you contact them, just ask that the order be shipped together and not as stock becomes available. This option is not usually available when ordering online and is something organizations would rather not do- you may have to call in your order. The reason they detour shipping in this method is that it inflates inventory; the product stays on the shelf longer waiting for its counter parts to arrive.  Another quick way is to order from as few companies as possible, further reducing deliveries. This project was to promote shipping complete in an effort to reduce packaging and carbon dioxide from couriers.

To begin this project, I first took a look at how many orders were shipping partial, what the carbon emissions were for those shipments and what was it costing the company to move stock off the shelves faster. What I did was find out how many orders were actually shipping partially, calculated what the average carbon emissions were per shipment, calculated what the average cost was per shipment and forecasted that information a year. The information I collected was submitted to my manager for review and later sent to the cost savings board.  It was determined there were significant savings to be had in shipping complete, however with  these products leaving the shelves, sales reps would not be compensated. This was the major road block in this project. I would have liked to have seen shipping order complete the default preference but that would potentially hold up large value orders and accounts receivable. Through this exercise however I was able to learn how to evaluate how we influence a customer’s supply chain.

After discovering how to evaluate the supply chain as a whole for the organization, I was able to apply this on a micro level to an individual customer. What I looked at were the customers total orders, how many shipped partial, what the estimated CO2 emissions were for that customer over a year, what locations they are shipping to most frequently, total weight and distance of shipments and where they were shipping from on a map in relation to their offices. This customer was making an effort combining their shipments in order to reduce the frequency of deliveries.  As said, if your organization is looking to reduce the frequency of deliveries and the costs and environmental consequences of rushing deliveries the easiest thing to do is request orders be shipped complete, and consolidate how many vendors you are ordering from.

About Adam Galloway

Making more environmentally conscious purchases is one of the greatest powers we have in curbing wastefulness.