Supply chain and sustainability are two sides of the same coin. A standard teaching practice within supply chain is “lean thinking” that advocates for minimalist, one-piece flow to the tune of an ever-present waste reduction drumbeat. Unfortunately, this drumbeat isn’t always heard. The prevalence of waste in far-reaching corners of supply chains is in large part due to the sheer global scale of many manufacturers.
As Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” Today, technology tools enable real-time collection and analysis of near endless amounts of big data throughout the value chain. This, coupled with our exponentially growing data, offers an exciting new frontier for which the supply chain is uniquely positioned to unlock hidden waste.