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Julie Urlaub on Bringing Balance to Your Sustainable Supply Chain Strategies

2 Oct, 2013 By: Julie Urlaub

“The best procurement organizations look for new ways to capture maximum cost savings. Don’t stick with the status quo; as the external environment changes, so should your strategy.” –Procurement Strategy Council

Building upon this guidance, the Strategic Sourceror post, Supply Chain Impacted as Businesses Question Outsourcing Strategies, offers its own perspective on shifting global supply chain trends.  Recognizing the business sustainability value of localized supply, the author of this article suggests that more companies should seek to balance leveraged supply with local sources.

“Many manufacturers underestimated the offshore impacts of long lead times and high inventory costs.  They are now discovering that maintaining service levels, in addition to the inventory and logistics buffering costs necessary to support the long-distance supply chain, far outweigh any labor cost advantages.  In addition to higher than anticipated overall product costs, offshore production also introduces a latency lag in bringing new products to market and responding to market trends."  - David Johnston, senior vice president, supply chain, of JDA Software

Today’s increasingly positive economic outlook is escalating consumer demand and many supply chains are simply unable to keep up.  Combine this demand surge with increases in transportation costs and our sustainability consulting finds companies reevaluating the business sustainability of ‘global’ supply. Instead, we find many companies building a balanced approach to their sustainable supply chain strategies.

“Companies are beginning to realize that having offshored much of their manufacturing and supply operations away from their demand locations, they hurt their ability to meet their customers’ expectations across a wide spectrum of areas, such as being able to rapidly meeting increasing customer desires for unique products, continuing to maintain rapid delivery/response times, as well as maintaining low inventories and competitive total costs.” - 21st Century Supply Chain

With traditional procurement strategies primarily focused on cost savings through activities such as outsourcing and off-shoring, we now see a shifting business sustainability mindset toward elevated sustainable supply chain thinking.  Our sustainability consulting has witnesses a growing focus on sustainable supply chain management over the past few years.  We at Taiga Company  subscribe to the idea that this will lead most companies toward a healthy mix of integrated localized supply relationships to mitigate the many bumps along the road in the pursuit of business sustainability.

[Oct blog] Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner, Taiga Company. Leveraging 15 years of business development, marketing, and communications expertise in the Energy, Medical, and Information Technology industries, Julie now consults and advises clients on purpose driven stakeholder communications in the social space. Specialty areas include a variety of issues intersecting between environmental stewardship, sustainable business practices, and the bottom-line benefits of sustainability strategies. Julie leverages a BA in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and IT studies from Southern Methodist University to meet the social, technological, environmental business objectives of Taiga's clients. For full details on Julie and Taiga Company visit http://www.taigacompany.com




About the Author: Julie Urlaub


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