WHITE PAPER: Green management at work within logistics

September 13, 2010 by Admin
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Environmental responsibility, as well as awareness, is becoming a higher priority within business, as customers begin to expect their suppliers to act socially responsibly.

Unfortunately, most businesses only scratch the surface in their endeavours to become more environmentally conscious, such as, turning off lights and other power devices, recycling paper or ink cartridges, etc. Very few give consideration to the supply chain and the environmental benefits and cost savings, which can be generated through the installation and management of proper practices. One area in particular is Reverse Logistics. To enable businesses to understand and begin to manage this area, OPS Logistics Consultancy (OPS) have put together a free White Paper.

Reverse Logistics Management might be seen as a new trend in the logistics sector, but it constitutes much more than the short-term hype that is frequently encountered in the business sphere. Because of the global concern about scarce resources and managing waste, it will become more and more important in the way we manage the supply chain. The world recession has caused all companies to strive for savings in their logistics costs, so they increasingly take a hard look at their reverse logistics practices. Activity Based Costing, or ABC analysis, has contributed significantly to the newfound focus as it emphasised the cost associated with reverse logistics.

“Businesses need to start managing the entire supply chain (cradle to grave) and take advantage of the potential improved bottom line margins, as well as their corporate image,” according to Dan Derry, managing director of OPS. “We live on a small planet with finite resources, so it is increasingly important that we look after what we have and begin to manage all areas under our control, including those of our suppliers. Environmental responsibility does not stop once you no longer have possession of the goods.”

What is Reverse Logistics and who does it effect? Where primary distribution is the flow of products or goods from its origin to the place or point of consumption; reverse logistics is a secondary channel flowing in the opposite direction. It can comprise such diverse transactions as returns, recalls, and waste management. Diverse examples are empty containers, like plastic crates or pallets, glass bottles, empty gas cylinders, batteries returned for disposal, recycled glass, reconditioned engine or machine parts, cargo rail cars, cargo containers, old newspapers and magazines, outdated clothing, damaged furniture, incomplete sets of items, malfunctioning toys, etc.

The White Paper provides for a greater understanding in order to meet this challenge, including how to get started and manage the reverse logistics process, with step-by-step actions. Companies must review their entire supply chain to ensure they have the best value for money approach and can ensure customer satisfaction, whilst having the adaptability to quickly meet a changing economic climate. Those that follow this process will be in a much stronger position.

“Businesses face a big challenge in a still struggling economy,” explains Derry. “It is clear that companies that invest in the equipment, technology, partnerships and thought processes needed to create efficient reverse logistics systems will succeed in achieving better margins, improved customer retention, and maintain flexibility to adapt and respond to changes that would impact the reverse logistics system.”

The free copy of the full white paper can be obtained via the OPS Logistics Consultancy website www.opslc.com or by clicking on the link below this story.

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