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Infor has released the findings of its latest research, which reveal that supply chain professionals are calling upon the UK Government to help reduce the industrys carbon footprint. Two thirds (67 per cent) of supply chain professionals surveyed, believe their environmental initiatives should be subsidised by the state.
The research, which polled 100 supply chain professionals within UK companies, highlights that 82 per cent of supply chain professionals are concerned about reducing their carbon footprints. Other major concerns include the need for better supply chain visibility (96 per cent); shrinking margins (90 per cent); introduction of new products (89 per cent); and escalating consumer expectations (89 per cent).
47 per cent stated cost as a barrier to implementing green initiatives, while 32 per cent claimed the inability to measure results hindered progress.
The research also shows the need to address environmental issues is at an unprecedented level as supply chains become more global and complex. Traditionally, companies with global supply chains moved products through low cost countries to keep labour and shipping costs down. Now, the environmental cost must be balanced with a focus on decreasing carbon emissions from land, sea and air transportation, meaning supply chains can no longer be measured purely on economic costs.
When asked about the length of supply chains, three quarters of those polled said their supply chains geographic reach had increased in the last two years. In fact almost half (43 per cent) claim their supply chain now incorporates the UK, Asia-Pacific, The Americas, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
67 per cent say they are more likely to offshore parts of their supply chain compared with two years ago. While Asia-Pacific would be the offshore hub of choice for 47 per cent, 53 per cent lean towards Eastern Europe as their preferred destination.
These findings demonstrate the mounting pressures facing supply chain professionals in 2008. As green initiatives continue to be placed at the top of supply chain agendas, they will compete for being prioritised along with traditional business issues such as margin improvement and customer service levels, comments Andrew Kinder (pictured), director, industry and product marketing, Supply Chain Management, Infor.
However, legislation and consumer behaviour will drive the need for supply chain professionals to ensure environmental considerations are a consistent facet of their strategy. Cost savings and green initiatives are now so connected that supply chain managers must develop holistic strategies that identify opportunities to achieve cost savings, meet regulatory compliance and lower environmental impact.
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