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On Demand News: 05/10/18

DW Morgan Company OnDemand Supply Chain News-Sustainability Is Not A Dirty Word: Save money and improve sustainability at the same time.

Sustainability Is Not A Dirty Word

10 May, 2018 // We work in a dirty business. If you’re involved in supply chain, chances are you do, too.

You may not want to think about it, but it’s truer than ever in global, multi-party supply chains. Every time a truck moves raw materials, work in progress or finished goods it’s using up natural resources and adding carbon pollution to the air. Put those same boxes on a plane and the footprint gets a lot bigger and dirtier. Even when boxes sit in a warehouse, there’s an energy cost.

Yet, at Morgan we have trained ourselves to see every challenge as an opportunity in disguise. It turns out that complex in-transit processes hold some of the greatest potential for enterprise cost savings and efficiency transformation. And some of the best financial and operational decisions improve sustainability at the same time. It’s a double win for those who think creatively.

Recently, for instance, we reviewed a manufacturing client’s less-than-truckload (LTL) ground shipment program. The customer was hoping to reduce its cost per pound incrementally. But, our analysis revealed heavy-volume lanes where the freight could be consolidated into full truckloads. Better utilization, better cost, more freight moved per carbon emission unit.

We have repeated that experience with so many variations: Regionalizing distribution to reduce transit to customers; putting the management and visibility tools in place to support mode shifts from air to ground or ocean; orchestrating work across suppliers so that freight flows smoothly to the end customer instead of sitting idle. In each case, the result was better availability for the client at the best cost and least environmental impact.

We have gone hunting for financial / sustainability win-wins in our own operations, too. An example: In 2015, we ditched shrink wrap in favor of reusable, recyclable PalletWrapz in feasible applications. Just one pallet-wrap equivalent of shrink wrap contributes 700 pounds of plastic film to the garbage stream over a year. So, in our first year of PalletWrapz use, we diverted 125,000 pounds of shrink wrap from landfills, saving 750,000 pounds of carbon emissions and creating nearly $50,000 in savings for one customer.

Since 2010, we have tracked and reported our overall carbon emissions reduction—for our customers and for ourselves. In just the past five years, we’ve reduced our overall carbon emissions by 53%. That’s equivalent to saving a year of carbon emissions for 800 US homes or taking nearly 2,500 cars off the road.

We mention all this not just to pat ourselves on the back. Instead, we want to publicly recommit Morgan to its mission of in-transit business process transformation. We also hope our learning will motivate others in this dirty but vital, global business to clean up their own operations—and just maybe clean up on the bottom line, too.

On Demand Supply Chain Blog

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