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Sustainability in the Supply Chain — It’s More Than Just ‘Being Green’

Businesses aren’t just being judged on the bottom line anymore. Nowadays customers are looking at a range of criteria, including labor practices, environmental issues, and financial/operational performance. In order to meet these new criteria, business must become transparent – which means all elements of their business (including their manufacturers) will also become transparent. In order to do well, according to the article’s authors Doug Schrock and Gregg Anderson, manufacturers have to be ready to provide the information businesses need to know: In many businesses, the procurement, internal audit and enterprise risk management functions provide focus on supplier risk concerns and offer language that helps describe risk. Yet industry research indicates there is still a significant lack of clarity in terms of how and what to measure in order to accurately assess risk in the supply chain. For example, more than half of the businesses in a recent Compliance Week study expressed dissatisfaction with their current approach to supply chain risk assessment, even though they said managing supply chain risk was a top priority. The top challenges these companies cited were a lack of good data on vendors, poor visibility into the use of subcontractors, and limitations in their ability to compare vendor risks. But providing this information is tricky – the discussion on what metrics are important, which need to be collected, and how to present them is one that takes time and money. Having a process for identifying metrics, regularly collecting data, and what is expected from both business and manufacturer will help both be appealing with the end customer.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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