Feb 10, 2011

Sustainability in Operations and Supply Chain Management

Following is a guest post by Ron Sullivan, the director of sustainability at APICS Puget Sound.  Ron will be teaching a workshop—Six Solutions for Sustainability—for us next month, and this is what he hopes the workshop will help participants to do:
Sustainability: the New Dimension of Operations and Supply Chain Management

We hear bad things about the environment, and one thing is certain:  the solutions must engage businesses of all kinds.  New ways of thinking will inform a company’s course.  The result is a vision of the future based on systems thinking and the concepts of the natural step, cradle to cradle design, the triple bottom line, and the continuing influence of the quality movement started by Deming. 

We can structure sustainability efforts into two types.  The first is incremental, expanding the intent of continuous improvement activities, for example reducing waste.  The second is transformative.  New products such as solar and wind power supplanting coal are an example.  We have to consider both types of change. 

Some of the changes we will see require a fundamental rethinking, a paradigm shift.  An example is our current economic theory with its almost religious obsession with profit.  A new theory is emerging that is compatible with the triple bottom line. 

The changes are part of an extension of current responsibilities in the field combined with more extensive work with other functions in the company, which in sum lead to a new strategy for the business.

About the presenter:  Ron Sullivan, CFPIM, combines a career of over two decades in manufacturing companies with studies for the past four years at the University of Washington focused on the environment and sustainability.  His professional experience includes procurement, materials management, and systems analysis.  He is the director of sustainability for the APICS Puget Sound Chapter, and developed and presents the “Six Solutions for Sustainable Business” seminar which will be presented for the fourth time on March 5 at Seattle University.

No comments:

Post a Comment