Every piece of the supply chain is affected by big data. One estimate by IBM suggests that we will have 300 times more information in 2020 than we did in 2005. As companies collect and store more data than ever before, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a way to tap into these data reserves and turn them into usable insights, particularly in the area of sustainability.
Examining supply chain data at the specification level holds great opportunity for organizations that have made sustainable practices a priority. By zeroing in on individual components at the granular level, companies can better use their mountains of information to make informed business decisions. To do this, Specification Data Management (SDM) is leading the charge.
So how can SDM help you improve sustainability throughout the supply chain?
1. Verify Source Materials for Easy Swaps
SDM can help companies identify materials that can be swapped for more eco-friendly alternatives. Surprisingly, one of the reasons that many companies don’t is because they don’t have a clearly defined way to do so. Some companies operate under the idea that switching to a greener product may incur additional costs, meaning they’ll either have to raise prices or absorb the added expenses. Others may not understand the options available to them, or fear the impact a change could have on the rest of the supply chain.
Specification Data Management helps eliminate these concerns by providing a shared information source for materials, components, ingredients, nutritional information, packaging design, vendor information and much more. With Specright, built-in tools and analytics can help you make valuable changes to your materials without requiring extensive research or guesswork.
2. Find Sources of Waste
Waste is one of the biggest culprits in the supply chain that works against sustainability strategies, largely because of the many forms it takes: overproduction, mismanagement of space, wait times, unnecessary activities, errors, and most notably, wasted physical resources. Not only does any form of waste negatively affect profits, but physical waste in particular contributes to greater landfill volume and has a detrimental impact on the environment.
It’s becoming more important than ever for companies to take ownership of their sustainability plans, and Specification Data Management is proving to be a powerful weapon. Companies can use SDM software to see how their resources are being used and identify costly leaks in the supply chain, particularly in the area of physical resources.
3. Track Sustainability Progress
As you cut costs and make adjustments to materials, vendors, and suppliers, managing your spec data can give you greater visibility to your overall sustainability progress. You can track how much you’re saving with every material swap to project long-term profitability. In addition, you can confidently say that your efforts have increased sustainability throughout the supply chain and have the proof to support your claims. With companies increasingly making their sustainability goals public and issuing annual sustainability reports on progress, finding a way to track this data on an ongoing basis is critical.
Sustainability takes proactive, ongoing efforts, but many of its challenges can be mitigated with the right technology and tools. This means collecting, making and tracking decisions at the specification level and comparing those to larger objectives that include cutting costs, creating positive change, and boosting long-term profitability. These are the real objectives toward which every supply chain should be moving.
To learn more about Specright’s Specification Data Management solution and how it supports sustainability efforts, download our ebook today.