Sustainability as a business opportunity

Thinking of bringing your business to a more sustainable place?

The best starting place for any business leader to embrace sustainability is to shift away from looking at sustainability in terms of how much it will cost, and towards assessing the returns it will generate.

Consider the phenomenon known as the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) which emerged in the field of quality management in the late 1980s. COPQ can be thought of as follows: by neglecting the importance of quality, an organization literally pays to generate waste and other problems, often in the form of scraps, reworks, recalls, rejects, reworks, service calls, warranty claims and more. Similarly, in the realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability of environmental, social and economic responsibility, organizations essentially commit capital to generate waste. Not a great investment, especially when sustainability actually presents a ton of revenue-generating opportunities.

Since the purview of sustainable … Read more...

Five Ws: Avoiding the nightmare of a product recall

Eggs. Toy trucks. Spinach. Meds. And now walnuts.

Recalls — and not the good kind — are a daily reality within an interconnected, modern global economy. But for the unprepared business, a product recall can be a logistical and PR nightmare, costing significant capital, and precious hours of downtime as well as — perhaps most significantly — irreparable damage to delicately nurtured brand image.

Since consumer activist agencies and public awareness at large tend to be a few steps ahead of legislators and regulatory bodies on public safety concerns, it is imperative businesses stay a few steps ahead of the game. For companies that rely on contract manufacturers, this can be easily achieved with a comprehensive quality management system (QMS).

Some essential questions — often rendered complex by the size and scope of large corporations — can be resolved with straightforward answers if an electronic QMS has been put … Read more...

The advantage of web-based supplier management

While a supplier management system can be implemented without software, the benefits of establishing a software-based system are numerous and significant. Depending on how comprehensive the solution is, a software-based system can be capable of providing real-time metrics that can be accessed instantly with the click of a button, thus rendering an entire supply chain and vendor base transparent. Some critical features of a comprehensive software-based supplier management system include:

Supplier management and evaluation

The system should be able to register and categorize suppliers by company name, supplier number and performance rating as well as other details in a centralized portal. The system should use this information to schedule, notify, and archive all supplier evaluation activities and results and develop a consistent supplier rating program with customizable surveys.

Risk management and continuous improvement

To avoid quality issues and ensure all elements of the supply chain run at peak performance, the supplier management … Read more...