Sustainability is probably the most pressing issue in our research field, as it’s not the product itself, but its supply chain that has an impact on sustainability. The study Excellence in Supply Chain Sustainability by EBS Business School and Logica is aimed at investigating sustainability in today’s companies, determining its degree of implementation, and identifying driving and impeding factors. The authors find that companies who engage in pollution prevention activities in production and in sustainable development have a better economic performance than companies without this engagement. It is also found that sustainability is a high-priority objective in companies – pushed by both the management and customers. However, customers who are not willing to pay for it and a management that is not commited to it are strong barriers to sustainability. The authors also provide recommendations on how to become a sustainable company based on their survey data.
PRTM Management Consultants recently published a report titled Global Supply Chain Trends 2011. The authors observe that “[h]igh volatility, huge swings in customer demand, and uncertainty in supply have created a new reality for global supply chain executives” and they make us aware of the significance of flexibility in the supply chain. This reminds me both in a statement made by Simchi-Levi (“With the increasing level of volatility, the days of static supply chain strategies are over”) and the “era of turbulence” proclaimed by Christopher and Holweg. The PRTM report contains five interesting recommendations to supply chain leaders: (1) They must focus on supply assurance and proactive capacity management for critical resources; (2) they must relentlessly engage in collaborative end-to-end demand and supply planning; (3) they must more tightly integrate their own and their partners’ supply chain architectures; (4) they must tear down the wall between supply chain management and product development/engineering; and (5) they must relentlessly drive superior collaboration maturity.