Sustainability - Impact Across The Supply Chain and Modes

(This post was originally published by Kushal Nahata, CEO , FarEye, on LinkedIn, here's the link.)

The route to sustainability has been in the minds of retailers and manufacturers for over a decade now. However, its status and importance have changed rapidly over the years. Even though mission statements tell the story of corporate social responsibility, there is increasing pressure from consumers and the government for enterprises to become even more sustainable.

According to a Nielsen study, 73% of global consumers are ready to change their consumption patterns to reduce their environmental impact. A staggering 81% strongly feel that enterprises have a significant role in this. 

Apart from consumer demand for sustainability, federal and legal pressures have set some aggressive sustainability goals for the decade. Walmart's Project Gigaton, Unilever's commitment to reduce 20 million metric tonnes, and Amazon's shift towards 100% renewable energy are some key initiatives businesses have initiated.

Leaders and newsmakers are taking their sustainability initiatives with renewed commitment and aggressively pooling their resources to meet these goals. 

FarEye is a key enabler helping the world's largest brands meet their sustainability goals. As a proven provider that has transformed delivery operations for large enterprises, we wanted to present a deeper perspective of how this is operationally possible. To meet overall sustainability goals, enterprises can take action by switching to renewable energy sources for different operations and identify and address energy sinks within their supply chains. Taking a deeper look at business operations and how the impact in which they make will get your business closer to meeting its sustainability goals. 

The Moving Parts 

Every enterprise supply chain has static and moving parts. Plants, warehouses, ports, hubs, and delivery locations are some of these static pieces. Enterprises can achieve sustainability improvements by looking at the energy footprint of the static elements.

However, the moving parts of the enterprise supply chain are contained in the delivery ecosystem - consisting primarily of transporting goods and products between the static locations. Enterprises in this ecosystem can achieve immediate opportunities to accelerate sustainability efforts. The following are tangible ways an enterprise can achieve a measurable impact and get closer to its carbon neutrality and sustainable goals.

  1. Reducing vehicle idling time 
  2. Reducing dwell/wait times
  3. Proactive route deviation management 
  4. Optimizing the number of trips 
  5. Address resolution for reducing delivery time & saving fuel 
  6. Reducing delivery failures by scheduling deliveries 
  7. Reducing empties 
  8. Increasing first-attempt delivery rates

Idling & dwell times: 

Lack of prior planning and ineffective collaboration between drivers and yard/plant staff leads to prolonged wait times at plants. The lack of collaboration is prevalent in several manufacturing plants leading to time wastage and fuel consumption due to increased idling times. Improving collaboration between the stakeholders and slot-based/appointment-based scheduling can significantly reduce fuel consumption and enhance trip efficiency. 

Route deviation: 

With hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars going into route planning, the last thing a transportation planner needs is non-adherence to planned routes. These behaviors lead to delivery SLAs non-adherence and increased fuel costs due to roundabout routing. 

Number of trips:

With the right kind of delivery planning, it is possible to reduce the number of trips. There is also a possibility to reduce the number of stops per trip. All of these contribute to not just efficiency but reduced carbon footprint with increased fuel efficiency.

Address standardization: 

Delivery executives lose considerable time and distance looking for the correct addresses, especially in places where there is no standard address format. FarEye helps enterprises save time and energy with the help of machine learning and geocoding, even when there is no consistent address format. 

Delivery scheduling: 

Booking an appointment is a foolproof way to ensure deliveries won't fail due to customer non-availability. It gets even better when the customer chooses delivery slots, which enhances customer satisfaction and ensures that there is no doubling of effort in re-planning failed deliveries. Booking appointments save cost & fuel. 

Reducing empties: 

One way to optimize trips for vehicles is to synchronize returns or pickups when vehicles are returning after deliveries. This improvement significantly reduces empty trips and ensures that the job is complete while the same distance is covered.

First-attempt deliveries 

Increasing first attempt deliveries is on the priority list of every logistics manager. It keeps costs under control, operations are more efficient, and most importantly, enterprises will achieve optimum resource utilization. 

By simply addressing these eight operational areas, enterprises can achieve a significant cost reduction by leveraging an intelligent delivery platform to achieve their sustainability goals. 

The Bottomline

The growing concern over climate change has pushed companies to do their part in reducing carbon emissions; addressing operational waste is no longer optional. By leading the charge, enterprises can enjoy the twin benefits of winning customer's hearts while at the same time reducing operating costs. 

Talk to our FarEye experts here about your carbon footprint goals and how we can help you take the sustainable route to save thousands of tonnes of emissions while bringing down your delivery costs. 

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