How Supply Chain Sustainability and Mobile Scanning Makes Your Business Future-Ready
As businesses across the world rebuild and re-strategize to override the heavy repercussions of continuing to deliver through a global pandemic, the need to realign supply chains with values that are future-ready and sustainable has become the need of the hour. According to Gartner’s report on supply chain sustainability trends for 2021, 84% of supply chain leaders plan to invest in climate adaptation and mitigation measures in the next 18 months among other key highlights. With increasing pressure from shareholders, customers, investors, and non-profits to push sustainability into the supply chain to increase productivity, save costs, uncover innovation, conserve resources and promote improved environmental, social and economic performance, many companies are adopting best practices to fulfil the sustainability push.
Supply chain encompasses a coordinated network of all companies, activities and facilities in developing, manufacturing and delivering a business’s products. The management of supply chain entails smooth running among all the stakeholders in order to maximise efficiency and achieve customer satisfaction. A sustainable supply chain focusses on reduced carbon footprint while tracking sustainability metrics in supply chain management systems that prioritise renewable energy, recycle products and materials, plus, foster greater social responsibility among suppliers.
Why companies are focussing on a sustainable supply chain?
a) Fosters future-ready values: Since supply chains have traditionally involved energy intensive operations, shifting to a more sustainable alternative is a great way to not only communicate corporate values and culture to all your suppliers and customers, but establish expectations through a supplier code of conduct. With consumer consciousness turning greener by the day and regulations getting tighter, a holistic and sustainable approach not only improves financial performance, but benefits the society in the long term.
b) Encourages innovation: An example of a company achieving innovation through sustainable supply chain management processes is Keurig Canada. A subsidiary of the world’s dominant coffee distributor, Keurig Canada, since 2001 has been working alongside the Embera Chami, indigenous community of San Lorenzo, in Colombia. Keurig purchases coffee from smallholder farmers in the community for premium price, and in addition, supports community projects and clean water initiative. In 2018, Keurig Canada introduced recyclable version of their coffee pods two years ahead of the company’s global goal!
c) Long-term environmental impact: In a 2019 survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) found that 65% of its corporate members used environmental metrics to inform supplier management and hold their business partners accountable. Moreover, the report also promised progress in cutting greenhouse gases. 29% of 7,000 suppliers to some of the world’s largest corporations reported a decrease in emissions.
d) Improved branding and investor relations: According to researchers at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, it was found that consumers may pay 2-10% more for products that provide supply chain transparency. With company stocks being hurt by media reports on irresponsible supply chain practices, investors are keen on partnering with sustainable investment funds that also meet United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development deadline.
e) Reduced resource usage: Procurement of sustainable materials ensures long-term durability and retirement of obsolete items that are not reusable. With circular economy and data-driven supply chains gaining momentum, products that have a greener footprint, last longer, and can be easily dismantled help augment inside-out efficacy. A definite plus when you are looking at cutting unnecessary costs. Additionally, the use of cloud-based ERP like NetSuite leaves no room for errors, and offers data driven insights that companies can use to implement and monitor strategies that help them be more sustainable.
According to a report by Digital Commerce 360, US ecommerce grew by 44% in 2020. With urgency and efficiency becoming integral to profits growing, along with assured customer satisfaction, mobile scanning has become non-negotiable where businesses are looking to increase supply chain efficiency. In order to eliminate root cause of warehouse mismanagement, doing away with manual processes for fulfilment is the need of the hour.
Here, we look at how adopting scanning devices and mobile applications throughout the supply chains not only helps automate manual processes, but increases performance and accuracy.
5 Ways Mobile Scanning via NetSuite Increases Efficiency in Supply Chain Management
- Assured data accuracy: When you use a scanner to receive items into your inventory not only does it simplify the process, but it ensures you are capturing the right information. The mobile app can be easily set to ‘force scan’ which helps in increasing data integrity. Only the accurate details are registered, automatically assigning the items lot number, serial number, bin location, and inventory status.
- Increased visibility of real-time inventory: Thanks to the mobile scanner you can systematically update inventory records when items are scanned and make them available for processes like quality assurance, outbound commitment, or fulfilment. It helps you stay on top of details of every item at any given time—whether it’s sitting in the warehouse, being prepared for production, going through quality assessment, or being packed and picked for fulfilment. You can also conduct a cycle count that expedites the entire process.
- End-to-end mobile picking, packing, and shipping: With increased order accuracy via the use of ‘force scan’ picking and packing of orders assures accurate data capture and validation against initiating transaction. Pickers can conveniently pick up multiple orders which further aids warehouse managers and customer representatives in keeping a keen eye on status of sales and orders.
- Better QC (Quality Control): The mobile scanner can easily capture and process quality test results directly from the shop floor or receiving dock. It further enables quality engineers to carry out inspections, review standards, submit data for analysis from the inspection area in real-time, and record data, while easily and instantly accessing test results.
- Take Advantage of Mobile Scanning with NetSuite Today: The NetSuite warehouse and inventory management solutions allows you to perform all of the above functionalities with enviable ease. You can access real-time information from your office to the shop-floor remotely and accurately. Additionally, the cycle count and multi-order picking via your mobile device will help check off all your fulfilment goals. A definite win-win for a sustainable and future-forward business that wants to remain relevant in an ever-changing world.