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Efficient Supply Chains Lead to Sustainable Results

DW Morgan Company Supply Chain News--Sustainability isn't a top-line management goal; it's what happens when you make smarter supply chain decisions.

Efficient Supply Chains Lead to Sustainable Results

A more sustainable supply chain should be natural by-product of smarter operations, not the goal

A notification from Apple’s new iPhone sleep tracking app recently popped up with good news for one of our team members: “Congratulations: Your sleeping heart rate is lower than average compared to other people your age.”

Well, hooray, we guess. Lower sleeping heart rates were never really the goal. We were focused on exercising as a way to feel better and live longer. But if that means a stronger ticker ends up not having to work as hard while we rest, then that’s a good thing. Thanks for noticing, Apple.

It’s the same with some of supply chain’s objectives, like sustainability. Analyst and “Talking Logistics” blogger Adrian Gonzalez gets it exactly right in a post: Sustainability is not a top-line goal for most enterprise management. Instead, it’s the healthy byproduct of other goals. 

Gonzalez quotes his own firm’s Indago research, which indicates 60 percent of companies now define and measure sustainability. Yet, a research respondent summarized priorities: “I think sustainability is a good marketing tool but not a main driver for business. What is important, and will become more important, is efficiency. I think as efficiency increases, sustainability will follow.

We couldn’t agree more. Our own focus on transforming transportation efficiency delivers faster, less expensive and high quality goods to end customers. Yet, along the way we have won multiple Supply & Demand Chain Executive “Green Supply Chain” awards, and in 2018 Cisco Systems gave Morgan its “Excellence In Sustainability” award at that company’s annual supplier appreciation event.

Simply put, smarter decisions lead to fewer empty or partially loaded trucks, less excess inventory to warehouse, reduced reliance on expedited shipment methods, better control and reliability. As Gonzalez puts it, “If sustainability is truly a byproduct of efficiency, then transportation is where the two intersect.

“Regardless of how simple or complex your transportation operations are,” Gonzalez argues, “you should always ask questions that challenge the status quo and seek opportunities to reduce costs, improve service, reduce risks and enhance the customer experience.”

At Morgan, we’re world class at exploring those questions—and generating better results on the financial and ethical bottom lines for our clients. Need some help streamlining your own operations? Let us know; we’d be happy to review your data at no charge. 

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