Make the move to green without moving your warehouse
Supply Chain Professionals are currently doing all they can to make their business greener, yet a number of companies still can’t afford to re-locate to new, more energy efficient premises.
With green energy generation often too large an investment, and new premises often too expensive, companies often give up at the first hurdle, however there are a number of small scale investments that can be made at Warehouses that can make all the difference!
The key expenditures for warehouses are often on lighting and heating. By addressing these two areas, warehouse managers can make huge savings on their bill, as well as gaining more green credentials.
Attach existing lighting to sensors will dramatically impact the energy use in industrial spaces. There are two varieties of light sensor: motion sensors and ambient light sensors. A motion sensor will detect the movement of workers and thus only turn the lights on in areas which people are using. An ambient light sensor, or daylight sensor, will adjust the brightness of lights depending on how much natural light is available.
Moving to fluorescent light bulbs is also far more energy efficient. Consuming 50 percent less energy than traditional light bulbs, fluorescent bulbs can save money from your energy bills as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
Introducing solar light tubes may also save on the expenditure on lighting. A low cost way to introduce more natural light into the workspace, these light-reflecting tubes can be installed in the roof, and reduce the need for artificial lights.
Moving lighting downwards towards the work area may also help reduce the number of lights needed. Warehouse lighting tends to be very high in the ceiling, often a long way from the workers underneath. By bringing the lights downwards, the lights will shine brighter so a smaller number of lights will be needed.
Switch to programmable thermostats. A huge number of warehouses rely on a temperature-only controlled thermostat, which will maintain the same temperature day or night. These can be wasteful, as they use energy to maintain a temperature when there is no-one working, i.e. over night. A programmable thermostat, however, ensures that heating remains off unless it has been programmed to come one.
Changing your insulation can also be helpful. Many warehouses use the old-fashioned Batt insulation, which is outdated and no longer efficiently insulates buildings. Switching to more modern loose fill or spray foam insulation will result in major energy savings.
Investing in an industrial sized fan could also help the temperature circulate around your warehouse. Installed in the roof, a large fan takes warm air which has risen to the ceiling in winter and funnels it down to the floor. In summer, the same is true of cooler air, which creates a more even climate control all year round.
Investing in a ‘Cool Roof'’ could also result in major energy savings. A reflecting paint which allows the sun’s rays to be reflected rather than absorbed, it keeps your building cooler during the hottest summer months.
Gartner: CEOs Want Their CSCOs to Focus on Cost and Digital
Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) will be expected to double their efforts in cost optimisation and digital transformation if they are to best support the short and long-term growth of their businesses, according to CEOs surveyed by Gartner.
The research and advisory firm surveyed 199 top executives from supply chain intensive industries between July and December 2020. It found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the pandemic has shifted the focus dramatically away from undefined innovation projects towards concrete goals to bring resilience and control to their value chain.
Around a fifth (17%) of business leaders said they want their supply chain chiefs to gain greater control over spend and cost saving, while 16% believe they should dedicate their efforts towards supply chain resiliency - both in response to the impact of the pandemic.
“CEOs are tasking their CSCOs to focus on navigating through the ongoing disruption and ensure business continuity,” said Thomas O’Connor, Senior Director Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “This includes dealing with pandemic-related lockdowns in key markets, supply chain shortages – as seen in the semiconductor industry – and challenges with the global flow of goods and increasing distribution costs.”
Supply Chain Digital Transformation Must be More Targeted
With 60% of those surveyed expecting an economic boom by the end of 2022, CEOs are also tasking CSCOs with redefining their transition to digital. The majority of respondents (80%) indicated they would be increasing year-on-year incitement in technology, but will aim to move away from nebulous digital transformation projects, instead focussing on targeted initatives.
CEOs said they need their supply chain chiefs to identify where and how digital can best support the business within the context of their specific industry or organisation. Areas most commonly cited were ecommerce/ebusiness (16%), customer interactions (9%), data analytics (9%) and customer experience (7%).
CSCOs must Prepare for Pandemic’s Impact on Business Change
More than two thirds of executives surveyed by Gartner said the pandemic had been a pivotal moment in realigning their business, with 79% expecting the outbreak to leave a lasting and transformational impression on the behaviour of society, and their organisation and individuals.
“Already, a range of companies have committed to social responsibility and sustainability goals – a huge integration challenge for supply chain leaders that manage global networks,” O’Connor added. “This means supply chain leaders need to establish metrics and goals for themselves and their partners, and ensure their targets are met across the whole value chain.”
This represents an enormous challenge for CSCOs, who will be at the forefront of managing and defining the evolution of their own organisations, as well as those of their supply ecosystem and partners throughout the value chain.