Green Supply Chain: Changing the Corporate World while Saving the Environment

Our world is currently undergoing major environmental change-researchers claim that the extreme weather occurring of late is caused by our lack of concern for the Earth. We tend to take our resources for granted considering the growing world population, resulting in resource depletion. Legislation enforcing stricter environmental regulations will soon be passed in America. The concern for environmental issues has also caught the eye of the corporate world. Companies are quickly realizing that green supply chains will help them reduce costs while helping save the environment.

Green Supply Chain: What is it, and Why use it?

A green supply chain is the process of using and transforming environmentally friendly inputs through change agents, whose byproducts can be used to improve the environment, or be recycled. Companies in the corporate world are realizing that using a green supply chain can be a competitive advantage in the marketplace; they are coming up with innovative solutions for which a green supply chain will help them save money and help the environment. For example, some companies are focusing on indirect purchases to help prevent environmental issues. Reducing the amount of cardboard used for packaging, and creating “smart packages” will help the company save money, and contribute to the environmental cause. Another way sustainability can be profitable is through the organic food craze- grocery stores charge high prices, and make a large profit off organic food that consumers are willing to pay much extra for. The green supply chain phenomenon also gives rise to a new industry- companies specializing in sustainability training and certification.

Real World Examples

The concept of the green supply chain has already spread to several Fortune 500 companies. General Motors (GM) reduced disposal costs by $12 million by establishing a reusable container program with its suppliers. PG&E has also been supporting green supply chain efforts- it gave its first Green Supply Chain award to Southwire Company. Southwire Company converted 1/3 of its cars to hybrids, thereby reducing landfill waste by 27%. It also eliminated lead activities from its products. Walmart has also begun implementing the green supply chain, and has seen an increase in profits by 7% ever since.

Inmar: Leader in Reverse Logistics Solutions

Interested in reducing your company’s rate of returns and improving trading partner relations while displaying a commitment to customer satisfaction and the environment? If so, implement reverse logistics solutions for your company today. Reverse logistics solutions can benefit your company greatly, and provide valuable data that can better its future functioning. Inmar Reverse Logistics, a company specializing in reverse logistics solutions for over 30 years, guarantees that by using its reverse logistics solutions, your company will receive maximum value.

Types of Reverse Logistics Solutions that Inmar Offers

1) Returns Management: A reverse logistics solution that monitors the reverse logistics process from the initial return authorization to final disposition. This includes facility management, financial management, processing of all physical returns, etc.
2) Asset Recovery: Maximizing the value/revenue of the overstocked, obsolete, surplus products while taking into consideration the brand value.
3) Re-Marketing: A solution that calculates the maximum value from the returned product, and conducts re-marketing strategies, such as refurbishing or repacking, accordingly.
4) Supply Chain Consulting and Analysis: This reverse logistics solution focuses on ensuring the efficient removal of waste, while minimizing loss and risk. This is done through detailed analysis of your company’s supply chain processes.
5) Recall Management: Focuses on liability issues, product reliability and payment, consumer safety, and brand image recovery/management.

Reverse Logistics Solutions Excellence

A leader in providing reverse logistics solutions, Inmar received the Reverse Logistics Operational Excellence Award from the Reverse Logistics Association in March 2011. Inmar won this award due to its exceptional work for their client, ADT. Inmar Reverse Logistics provides technology-driven reverse logistics solutions to a client base of over 300. Their clientele base is spread over a variety of diverse markets, including Toys, Consumer Goods, Footwear and Apparel, Pharmaceutical Companies, etc. Other successful companies specializing in unique reverse logistics solutions include GENCO and ModusLink.com Global Solutions. GENCO’s reverse logistics solutions focus on managing the complete returns management process for its customers throughout the whole of North America, while ModlusLink Global Solutions focuses on integrated returns management, repair, and asset disposition solutions.

Reverse Logistics Process: How to Increase Profits by Sending Products Back

Though supply chain logistics has been the primary focus, an increasing number of companies are discovering the great deal of money that can be made in looking the opposite way, and sending things back. Reverse logistics is a rapidly advancing concept in today’s business world, as Third Party Logistics Providers (3PLs) discovered that up to 7% of an enterprise’s gross sales can be captured by return costs through the reverse logistics process.

What is the Reverse Logistics Process?

In a nutshell, the reverse logistics process is that of removing new or used products from their initial place in the supply chain; this occurs when customers return products, and when there is overstocked inventory or outdated merchandise. The products are then redistributed from the point of consumption to the point of origin, in order to recapture product value. The ultimate goal of the reverse logistics process is to maximize value, or achieve proper disposal of the product to the satisfaction of the customer or consumer, as customer satisfaction is the number one priority.

How does it Work?

The detailed reverse logistics process differs based on the company’s unique products and policies. According to Chuck Poirier of the Computer Sciences Corporation, the reverse logistics process can be broadly outlined in five points:

1)      Reconditioning- when a product is cleaned, repaired, and restored to a “like new” state.

2)      Refurbishing- a more detailed form of reconditioning, particularly in repairs.

3)      Remanufacturing- Requires disassembling and reassembling the product entirely.

4)      Resell- when the reconditioned, refurbished, or remanufactured product is sold again as new.

5)      Recycle- when a product is reduced to its basic elements, which are reused.

A Booming Industry’s Success Stories

The concept of reverse logistics has created the new industry of Third Party Logistics Providers (3PLs), which specialize in reverse logistics applications, customized to fit the size and type of any client’s company. One such company is Unyson, which manages returned/damaged products for clients. They conduct the reverse logistics process by entering the items into a custom built Web-based communication and transportation network, which allows them access to track shipments in transit in an organized fashion, and ensure that they return to a return center for reconstitution or disposal. Companies that benefit from such services include Bed, Bath & Beyond- which, thanks to reverse logistics processing, can provide their customers a no questions asked return policy, resulting in greater customer satisfaction.