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How sustainable is your supply chain?

Online purchasing is convenient but also comes with environmental impact. Product distribution, packaging, and returns contribute to carbon emissions. Therefore, making online shopping as sustainable as possible is extremely important. Not only for success within retail, as your customers become more sustainability-conscious. But also to save our planet.

What can you do to reduce carbon emissions?

Every year we create more than two billion tons of waste worldwide. A lot of it stems from single-use packaging. If you switch to eco-friendly packaging and market that you are taking your environmental responsibility, more consumers will choose you instead of not as eco-friendly competitors. Unilever (2017) showed that 21 percent of the customers they asked in a survey said they would actively choose a brand that clarified their sustainability credentials on their packaging and via their marketing.

Another thing you can do is reduce last-mile delivery emissions by setting up a pop-up warehouse. You can also source your products and materials from suppliers nearer your workshop and warehouse.

And by shipping locally or domestically, you can reduce carbon emissions. And if you localise a shipping partner using sustainable fuels or offset emissions with carbon credits, you can also boost your sustainability.

Supply chain sustainability

You can continuously review your supply chain, measuring what impact your entire supply chain has on the environment and society – i.e., supply chain sustainability. It involves getting a clear picture of the environmental impact of your product’s journey through the supply chain. This involves looking at raw material sourcing, production, storage, delivery, and transportation links.

Questions to ask yourself while looking into your supply chain can be:“How can I minimise the use of energy and water?”, “How can I reduce waste production?”. To answer the questions, you must draw and analyse information from several supply chain applications, such as procurement systems, inventory, order, warehouse, fulfilment, and transportation management. It can be demanding since you must puzzle together information from many sources to get the overview you are after as a company.

Let your ERP do the work

When reviewing your supply chain, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system comes in handy. It can integrate all the applications in your supply chain, collect critical data, and present and illustrate it in almost real-time if you use a modern non-legacy ERP. For example, cloud-based MS Dynamics 365 ERP combined with Dynamics 365 Commerce. This comprehensive omnichannel solution optimises your operations and drives supply chain efficiencies.

What can you do with the supply chain data that you collect? You can, for example, find and understand hidden issues – like why items were lost and where they are. You can identify return patterns – the many returns tied to e-commerce cause a great deal of environmental loading. You can do a lot here to minimise returns. Like helping your customers make better purchases. One way of doing this is by offering services like virtual fitting, where the customer, for example, scans their feet with an app and then gets shoe model suggestions based on actual metrics.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Are you curious to know more about Nexer and retail in general, the future of retail, or how Nexer can help you connect all your retail systems into one “Digital Ecosystem for Retail”?