Transform your supply chain’s sustainability impact by going beyond operational constraints

Transform your supply chain's sustainability impact

This is the second blog post of a two-part series – in part one, I explained supply chain planning and execution tweaks that can be applied without significant change management programs. Here in part two, I will highlight how more drastic shifts to supply chain networks and operations can have a larger impact on sustainability.

The examples in part one demonstrated small operational changes that can significantly improve a company’s footprint, with very little to no change management efforts. For some companies, this is a good starting point for incremental improvements. After working with some of the world’s largest corporations, I certainly appreciate and recognize that capital investments are not taken lightly. Most would require a lengthy procurement period and perhaps an even longer rollout phase. Therefore, Quintiq has enabled its supply chain planning solution to be specifically configurable for each customer. This is to respect the customer’s short- and long-term constraints.

Bigger changes, bigger rewards
However, there will be companies that have already deployed sustainability efforts and are looking to further increase efficiency and transparency beyond the existing constraints of their network.

This is where Quintiq can help. We have a proven track record to assist in more drastic innovations that will reduce costs without compromising on customer service. Often overlooked during drastic supply chain operational changes is the need to continue to produce executable plans as capacities and capabilities change. This is actually a key enabler of innovation. The Quintiq solution uniquely allows companies to properly balance changing KPI goals at varying points in time, in order to produce realistic, executable plans. It’s one of the reasons why it’s recognized as a top software and technology provider in food logistics.

How can Quintiq help?
An example of innovation that the Quintiq logistics solution offers but requires a capital investment is the introduction of electric vehicles into a company’s fleet. Electric vehicles will immediately decrease the carbon footprint of a logistics fleet but introduce challenges that need to be thoughtfully considered when planning. The impact of weather on battery capacity needs to be considered, as well as charging station availability if trip distance exceeds the battery capacity for long hauls. These are only a few important pieces that can quickly derail the operational efficiency of a fleet if they’re not part of the initial planning steps.

Developing solutions and innovations like these take time and investigative effort in which Quintiq is committed to across all spectrums of supply chain. Most recently, Quintiq launched an internal initiative – the Sustainable Supply Chain Challenge (SSCC) – with the aim to build scalable and practical applications that contribute towards the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (UNGGSD).

Quintiq also pioneered the innovation in delivery demand-shaping technology. This began by focusing on a dual service model, balancing both a customer and company’s desires for same-day delivery service. The key takeaway was that same-day service doesn’t always have to be expensive for a customer and inconvenient for a company. The company can properly influence the customers’ decision in order to best fit within the currently planned delivery and pick up routes, while still ensuring the highest levels of customer service. Since the introduction of this concept, the idea has been expanded beyond same-day service to support a longer planning horizon – more information can be found in our webinars on same-day delivery and last-mile delivery.

A circular supply chain is an alternative to a traditional linear supply chain (make, use, dispose). The focus of circular supply chains are to keep resources in use as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Quintiq’s supply chain planning capabilities, integrated within Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform, can help enable this type of business model that’s more sustainable. For instance, a closed loop supply chain can be achieved by combining forward and reverse supply chains – more information regarding how this approach by can utilized by cities can be found in the 3DS quarterly Compass magazine.

Impact through innovation at your pace
The above are just three examples of a long list of ways that Quintiq supports larger changes in operational models, so that companies can improve social, economic and environment values. Becoming more sustainable starts with building transparency and visibility – two of the fundamental ingredients to improving sustainability and operating more efficiently. Quintiq is committed to helping customers, like Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo, achieve these goals through optimized planning and its passion for innovation. The desired change or impact doesn’t have to be made in one huge leap (or big bang). Taking smaller steps can be effective as well. Quintiq is able to support both approaches. To jumpstart your sustainability efforts, contact Quintiq today.

Jeff Butler

About Jeff Butler

I consider myself a technologist who aims to make a difference in socially impactful projects. My passion for numbers and analytical thinking has steered me into a diverse array of career opportunities, spanning industries from finance and professional sports, to supply chain. Some of my other passions are sustainability, civic engagement and health initiatives - just a small part of a long list of interests. In my spare time, I enjoy watching TED talks. I also stay updated with blogs that are focused on computer security, DIY projects and travel.