A popular move among many companies with consumer-facing supply chains is to implement greener policies. New processes that reduce or reuse waste and cut down on nonrenewable resources can save companies money and improve brand reputation.
However, these measures are not without challenges, according to Business 2 Community. For starters, going green does not universally save supply chains money and in many cases can dramatically increase costs. So, companies must weigh the benefits and the costs before deciding to make a change.
Furthermore, going green could have a negative impact on employees if it requires many sudden changes to old processes. It is more feasible for a supply chain to grow eco-friendly over time than try to change every department and procedure at once.
Companies Can Start By Eliminating Paper-Based Systems
One of the easiest ways to go green and save money is by simply eliminating paper. From the office to the warehouse, paper-based systems are slower, take up more room and, of course, use more paper. Invoicing, accounting, payroll and numerous other business processes can be completed without paper.
On the warehouse floor, automated data collection and barcode scanning software can drastically reduce the amount of paper used to track orders and inventory. Instead of filling out and filing thousands of sheets a day, simply scanning a barcode can populate all the needed information about an item into existing ERP systems.
Automated Data Collection Has Many Benefits
Even if a company is not considering a move toward a greener supply chain, data collection solutions have many other benefits. In addition to being wasteful, paper-based data collection is also highly inaccurate and time-consuming for the workforce. When an employee fills a form out wrong or incorrectly records an invoice number, he or she wastes not only his or her own time, but also that of the person looking for the data later on. With automated data collection, the element of human error is totally removed.
Automated data collection is also much faster than paper-based systems, so it is a better tool for inventory control and tracking supplies and orders. With mobile data collection, information about merchandise can continue to be updated in real time even after orders have already left the building. All supply chain managers should consider how new software could improve the efficiency of their companies' warehouses.