Sourcing products ethically can be challenging, especially for companies that deal with a complicated or long supply chain. In order to ensure ethical sourcing, business owners should consider employing freelance project managers who can help establish a supply chain that doesn’t compromise quality and ethics.
The Logistics Point October 2020
Importance of an ethical supply chain
What has once been considered a back-office function of business is now front and center for many companies today: ensuring an ethical supply chain is something that can set companies apart from the competition. Customers today are more educated and more connected than ever, so taking time to establish an ethical business model will attract more business and will help your company maintain an honest operation. For guidance on current practices, you can turn to The Logistics Point for additional resources.
Establishing an ethical operation
Some companies will have an easier time establishing their ethical supply chain than others, based on factors such as company size and scope of operations. For example, a large retailer selling multiple products will need to look at the journey of each product from manufacturing to landing in your store.
Along with identifying whether the manufacturer has ethical practices, transportation routes and environmental risks should also be evaluated. Aim to reduce waste where possible, lower fuel consumption by optimizing routes, and minimize overproduction through efficient supply and demand planning.
Think of your manufacturer as ground-zero for your ethical supply chain. Along with ensuring they have ethical treatment of workers, do some research to determine whether they use sustainably sourced materials for their products. Inquire into their production facilities and learn about whether they’re disposing of waste in environmentally friendly ways.
Along with manufacturing, establish an efficient and low-impact transportation plan for your supply chain. You can decrease your company’s fossil fuel consumption by optimizing routes. Do some research and find transportation companies that specialize in environmentally friendly conscious practices.
Monitor environmental risks
As you create your production plan, think about environmental factors that may influence or affect your supply chain. For example, areas of the U.S. deal with increasingly devastating wildfires, and water scarcity in other parts of the world, can influence and reduce agricultural yields. Supply Chain Drive points out that you can plan for these risks by using supply chain technology that can help predict these risks, allowing you to enact contingency plans.
Supply and demand
One area that can be improved for almost every company is preventing overproduction. This is particularly common in the food industry: in the UK, Wrap notes over 2 million tonnes of fresh produce are lost or wasted each year in the supply chain. To avoid waste and overproduction, aim to improve your supply and demand process. This can be done by hiring someone to oversee production and ordering.
As a business owner, you can’t be in all places at once, which is why it’s important to know when to hire out for tasks. When you’re working to improve the supply chain of your company, consider hiring a freelancer who can help with project management. A project manager can help develop a new supply chain plan for your company and ensure it’s followed for every product.
You can also hire freelancers who can help with researching and sourcing products to ensure they are ethically sourced. A sustainability freelancer can help ensure you’re on the right track with finding the most environmentally friendly and humane manufacturers available within your budget.
Sustainable and ethical supply chain management is a crucial part of owning a business today. Not only is it important to fight climate change, but it’s also a vital aspect of creating an ethical business. By creating an ethical supply chain, you’ll attract customers who are motivated by sustainability, and you’ll likely save money at the same time.