STORES Magazine - March 2008 - (Page 44)

GREEN RETAILING Adding Green to the Picture Software solutions help create and maintain sustainable supply chains BY CRAIG GUILLOT ecoming “green” and “sustainable” has been a hot issue for retailers lately. From LEED-certified remodeling projects to public relations campaigns that spread the word on sustainable practices, environmentally-friendly initiatives are taking center stage. Thanks to technology and software solutions, creating and maintaining a greener supply chain may be one of the simplest and more financially-rewarding places to start. B dise management solution that helps create more advanced planning. “Basically, if you can do a better job of just managing inventory and look at the whole picture of how a product gets to the store, that is a very direct way of creating a more sustainable supply chain,” Singh says. Suppliers and retailers that are streamlining and greening their supply chain through the use of technology can also put themselves ahead of the curve for any potential government legislation that calls for more environmentally responsible practices. Suppliers earn a score Procuri’s TotalSupplier supports the supplier management lifecycle from initial registration and assessment to ongoing performance measurement. Suppliers can register on a portal and, based upon how they answer questions, are given a score that ranks their environmental and social responsibility indicators. Boudreau says retailers also are using software solutions to consolidate shipments. When a retailer makes a purchase from a consumer products company, numerous purchase orders from various departments could create multiple shipments. A single bill of lading and package could make that shipment two or three times more efficient, reducing both the transportation costs and the company’s carbon footprint. Software can also help maximize space in shipping containers and warehouses, which Boudreau says can increase density by as much as 15 percent. Social concerns also play a part in the push for sustainability. Huddleston says that more retailers are implementing audit programs to take a closer look at their factories overseas. By observing working conditions, pollution controls and operations and inputting such data into a software solution, retail executives can gain a better view of what’s happening at their overseas facilities. StORES Within retail supply chains, such initiacan add more green to their supply tives “are gaining so much popularity chains by cutting down on packaging, now because the two ends of the specmaximizing space on their trucks or in trum [environmental impact and ecotheir containers and optimizing just-innomic feasibility] are no longer in oppotime inventory practices. sition,” says Erik Huddleston, vice presTim Minahan, senior vice president of ident of strategic applications for Inovis. marketing for Atlanta-based Procuri, “When it comes to logistics, it’s all about says his company’s solutions help clients the cost of gas at the end of the day.” utilize their spend, negotiate with and Constructing a new LEED-certified fasource from their suppliers and manage cility or installing solar panels can retheir contracts and commercial agreequire significant upfront costs, but the ments, all while tracking a supplier’s efforts to make a supply chain greener record of sustainability. A web-based usually do not require additional capital portal allows buyers to view a supplier’s and can generate immediate returns. LEED certifications, performance A number of firms now leverage techscores and progress on improvements nology and software to make supply and corrective measures. chains more efficient, green and cost-ef“On the front end, it’s about making fective. Jeff Boudreau, a partner with sure that you get the right sustainable XCD Performance Consulting, says resuppliers in the first place, and on the tailers can use software to make numerback end it’s about making sure that ous small improvements that add up to they remain so,” Minahan says. large results. Gurdip Singh, retail division vice pres“Almost everything a company can do ident for supply chain management softto improve its business ware provider i2, says “On the front end, operations also has a many retailers use their it’s about making sure sustainability benefit,” solutions to minimize he says. “Improvetransportation. Other that you get the right ments in a supply chain, areas Dallas-based i2 fosustainable suppliers transportation, techcuses on include optiin the first place, and nology, labor and packmizing logistics manageon the back end it’s aging will almost alment, collaborating about making sure that ways show a sustainwith suppliers to create they remain so.” ability improvement.” a just-in-time delivery — Tim Minahan Retailers of all sizes system and a merchan44 STORES / MARCH 2008 Craig Guillot is a New Orleans-based writer and photographer. WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - March 2008

STORES Magazine - March 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Sam’s Club Gets Tough on RFID Stragglers
Athletes for Hire
What Shoppers Think
Goodwill Hunting
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Luxury’s Shrinking Purse
Workplace Law
First Look
Green Retailing
Cosmetic Sales
Inventory Tracking
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - March 2008