Sustainability Procurement (Reaction Paper Sample)
• Step One: Read
o Read an article on sustainable supply chain management which provides a good basic knowledge of sustainability, sustainable supply chains, and the role of sustainable purchasing.
• Step Two: Research
o Pick a Fortune 500 firm (focal firm) that is known to have a policy towards sustainable purchasing. Familiarize yourself with that policy. Then, identify a couple of first tier suppliers of the focal firm and examine their level of sustainability particularly with respect to their operations including the first tier procurement. and their suppliers.
• Step Three: Report
o Deliver a concise report of not more than three pages (12 point, Times New Roman, Double spaced, normal margins) that details your findings. This should include comments and critique on the target firm’s sustainability policies (with particular emphasis on sustainable operations and especially sustainable procurement), as well as analysis of the sustainability (especially in operations, including procurement) of the selected suppliers. A last (fourth) page of the report will contain references you have used in the research phase of the report.
The case for sustainable supply chain has garnered interest after Wal-Mart insistence that the suppliers need to be more sustainable while also going green. To achieve this, companies have focused on linking the cost-effective supply chains with sustainability (Bayat et al., 2011). Sustainability goals then need to be identified including the metrics to determine sustainability and operating efficiency. The organization leadership is crucial to the implementation of sustainable supply chains since they drive change and guide the workers on how best to achieve this. Additionally, sustainability needs need to be linked with process synergy for the supply chain management to be more effective and sustainable (Bayat et al., 2011).
Wal-Mart a retail giant with operations in the U.S. and other countries has increasingly sought to improve its supply chain management to ensure sustainability. Wal-Mart has set sustainability targets to be achieved while also ensuring efficiency in the supply chain and procurement process (Hoske, 2009). The supply chain management has not improved because of reliance on technology but also improved coordination among the vast network players from the purchasing operations management, distribution as well as integration of the SCM. The suppliers also influence the success of the SCM, since the management at Wal-Mart decided to procure goods form specific vendors to ensure efficiency in purchasing decisions.
Kraft Foods is one of the main food suppliers to Wal-Mart, and the company mainly manufactures and markets food and beverage across North America. Clorox Co is another major supplier to Wal-Mart that deals with consumer and professional products, and the company's revenue is more reliant on the performance of Wal-Mart compared to other major suppliers accounting up to a quarter of the company's revenues (Geller & Wohl, 2011). The main concern for the suppliers is that Wal-Mart does increase charges to suppliers. This has mostly been because of the demand for higher wages among Wal-Mart's employees, which has pushed the labor cost up, especially in cases when the margin has been thin.
Kraft Foods has proposed consumer involvement to ensure that their needs are met in the end supply chain. The company has focused more on collaboration with the customers to ensure there is scope expansion, where the supply chain is viewed as one rather than two where the customers and Kraft are separate entities in SCM. How...
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