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How an ERP Drives Sustainability in Consumer Goods Supply Chains

How an ERP Drives Sustainability in Consumer Goods Supply Chains

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How an ERP Drives Sustainability in Consumer Goods Supply Chains

Apr 22, 2021

Ali Coad
plant in a gear

Happy Earth Day! The public is more eco-conscious than they’ve ever been before. So businesses must accommodate this shift. Must align themselves within the sustainability fervor. 

It’s clear that sustainability is one of the top consumer goods industry trends right now. Car companies can’t manufacture electric or hybrid models fast enough. Nike just created a “Space Hippie” shoe—a shoe made from at least 45% recycled content, including plastic bottles, t-shirts and post-industrial scraps. IKEA plans to use 100% renewable or recyclable material when creating their products by 2030.

There’s no better time to reflect on how you can make your consumer goods business more sustainable, more environmentally aware and more thoughtful in the way you conduct business. There are a lot of ways you can do that.

Here at Aptean we believe that by creating a supply chain that puts efficiency at the forefront, you’re in a solid position to bolster sustainability efforts at your company. An efficient supply chain means less waste, streamlined processes and greater collaboration.

An enterprise resource planning solution (ERP) can drive efficiency in the supply chain and can support better decision-making. This should be as important to you as it is to your consumers. 45% of consumers would be swayed to a product purchase that demonstrated a commitment to the environment.

Let’s take a deeper dive into how you can create a more sustainable enterprise with an ERP:

Drive efficiency

Time is money. And you don’t want to waste either one. In an effort to become a more efficient enterprise, it’s important to look for areas of improvement. Where in your supply chain is waste occurring? Let’s start with inventory. You don’t want to over-produce or over-purchase materials. It’s a waste of time, resources and labor. And downstream, it can cause errors in forecasting. And once your product makes it through production, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. Transport, packaging, storing and distribution—if not done effectively and efficiently—can seriously derail sustainability efforts. Take transportation as an example. Optimized transportation can significantly reduce CO2 emissions—not only driving efficiency but sustainability, as well.

The right planning tools enable you to run an efficient, lean operation and optimize your supply chain to better balance your resources and obtain maximum performance from your team and your tools. An ERP enables you to track your product as it moves throughout the supply chain. With complete data and real-time information, most risks can be alleviated. Costs attributed to human error are minimized, and all employees are better positioned to make more confident decisions while ensuring a more connected supply chain.

Streamline operations

Streamlined operations come down to visibility and agility. Having the right data to make the right decisions. To waste less. And to utilize the resources you have. Which inevitably leads to greater profitability. If you’re really ready to champion sustainability, it’s time for you to move beyond legacy technology and make a commitment to digital transformation. To, in the truest sense, streamline your operations, integrate your technology and maintain business continuity. Our software is made with you in mind. With the landscape of your industry at the forefront of our design. Because of that, it streamlines operations, illuminates pain points and improves efficiencies in meaningful ways throughout your enterprise.

Emphasize collaboration

Teamwork makes the dream work. Here at Aptean, we really believe that. Not only do we operate in a way that emphasizes collaboration and unity, but we’ve created industry-specific software to enable similar opportunities for teamwork and collaboration for our customers. So, how exactly does collaboration make you a more sustainable organization? And how can an ERP help? Well, in several ways:

  • Rapid problem resolution – 92% of supply chain professionals surveyed agreed that rapid problem resolution is a benefit of collaboration. With an ERP, everybody has access to automatically updated information. Which means that all participants in the supply chain can look up and downstream to explore where problems develop. You can then make necessary adjustments before things escalate.

  • Increased product innovation – Revitalize innovation through collaboration. Retailer feedback, for example, is extremely valuable. You’ve got to know what consumers are saying about your brand to make changes or improvements to give your buyers more of what they want. An ERP with integrated product lifecycle management tools allows you to monitor product development from ideation to completion. That kind of visibility leads to seamless product launches and uncomplicated product updates. No more wasting time, resources and money.

  • Lower supply chain costs – This is all about increasing efficiencies. With an integrated ERP solution, real-time information is available at all times, enabling you to make better, more confident decisions on supply chain efficiency.

  • Less on-hand inventory – Only produce what you need. No more, no less. This is done through clear communication between internal teams. When each stage of the supply chain has insight into reorder points and inventory levels, you’re able to streamline buying cycle processes to ensure inventory levels remain optimal and you’re not buying blindly. Don’t waste time, resources and money on inventory you just don’t need. That is at the root of remaining sustainable.

Consumers demand you do your part to drive sustainability– and if not, they will shop with a company that is. Which means consumer goods businesses must integrate the right technology to drive efficiency, streamline operations and emphasize collaboration. With our ERP, you can do that.

Ready to make your enterprise more sustainable? Find out how, now.

Tell us about yourself and an Aptean specialist will be in touch.