Three key steps towards a more sustainable supply chain
With the consumer class predicted to swell to around 1.8bn people by 2025, consumer goods companies are faced with a combined opportunity and challenge. While the number of people with increasing amounts of money to spend on consumer goods is on the rise, so is the environmental impact of humanity as a whole. Making supply chains and the procure-to-pay process more sustainable needs to be a top priority for companies that expect to capitalise on a world that is still inhabitable in 2050.
According to supply chain experts Mckinsey, consumer packaged goods companies with poor environmental and social sustainability performance can expect to experience slowed growth. “To make and sell goods, consumer businesses need affordable, reliable supplies of energy and natural resources, as well as permission from consumers, investors, and regulators to do business. But companies can no longer take those enabling factors for granted. Indeed, scientific consensus, along with pledges by governments and business leaders.”
Dramatic sustainability improvements are needed.
One: Develop the business case
Most businesses are driven by their corporate values to address supply chain issues. Their business cases are based on industry, business strategy, stakeholder expectations, and supply chain footprint. Risk management and supply chain efficiency are a few of the most common drivers for supply chain sustainability. By integrating Global Compact Principles with compliance programs, companies can better address supply chain disruptions and improve supply chain efficiency.
Two: Benchmark against your peers
Analysing the external landscape is as important as identifying business drivers. Companies need to understand their competitors' strategies and develop business partnerships accordingly. They must focus on the internal structure and business cases for supply chain sustainability. Also, codes of conduct and initiatives for supplier relationships should be incorporated into the supply chain sustainability program.
Three: Understand stakeholder expectations
Understanding stakeholders' expectations is imperative for companies. This includes inputs from both customers and investors. Companies can identify relevant standards to sustainable supply chain management, take proactive measures to address emerging risks, and identify opportunities in the supply chain.
Accenture Acquires SCM Software Firm Blue Horseshoe
Accenture has announced its acquisition of Blue Horseshoe, a US-based supply chain management software provider and consultancy firm.
Upon completion, Blue Horseshoe’s 349 professionals will join Accenture’s Supply Chain & Operations group, expanding the professional services group’s capabilities to create more interconnected and resilient supply chains for clients.
“To be competitive, companies need to transform their supply chains to deliver the innovative and hyper-personalised products, services and experiences that are in high demand—and fulfilment is core to that transformation,” said Renato Scaff, Accenture’s Supply Chain & Operations North America lead. “Blue Horseshoe’s deep fulfilment consulting experience and methodologies support Accenture’s vision for building customer-centric, resilient and responsible supply chains that benefit people, society and the planet.”
Who are Blue Horseshoe?
- Founded: 2001
- CEO: Chris Cason
- Employees: 349
- Offices: 4 in USA, 1 in Amsterdam, 1 in Estonia
- Key customers: Lids, Pabst Brewing Co., Half Price Books, Britax, Major Brands
Founded in 2001 in Indiana, USA, Blue Horseshoe now operates from six offices across the US and Europe. The company provides cloud-based solutions for supply chain management, ERP, warehouse management and transportation management systems, including its own Supply Chain Cloud platform, as well as Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management as a Microsoft Inner Circle Partner.
Blue Horseshoe specialises in fulfilment and distribution solutions, with expertise in the food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and retail distribution industries. Over the past 20 years, the company has improved around 700 supply chains, including those of leading companies such as fashion retailer Lids, cosmetics company Regis Corporation, Pabst Brewing Co., and family-owned bookstore chain Half Price Books.
“For two decades, we’ve worked with clients to build connectedness, efficiency and automation across their enterprise and supply chain operations,” said Chris Cason, CEO, Blue Horseshoe. “As part of Accenture, we will bring increased scale and combined expertise to help clients put in place next generation supply chain and fulfillment strategies that meet customer expectations and support business growth.”
Accenture's acquisition of Blue Horseshoe is subject to customary closing conditions.