Manufacturers struggle with green supply chains, rapid change
The vast majority of mid to large-sized manufacturers responding to an IFS North America research study are grappling with two trends: market pressure to measure and report on their environmental footprint and their vendors; and rapid change that forces them to regularly change their business models.
More than 80 percent of respondents said that green supply chains — in which companies make purchasing decisions based on non-financial criteria, including the environmental impact of vendors and their products — will become more important in the next three years. The study was conducted in December of 2010 among more than 200 executives with manufacturing operations with greater than $100 million in revenue.
However, respondents indicated that their IT infrastructure, including enterprise resources planning (ERP) software, was not keeping up with their changing green supply chain needs, with 87 percent reporting that this data was handled at least in part through hard copy.
“Environmental mandates and the constant addition of new manufacturing modes — including engineer-to-order, engineer, procure, and construct and others — are just symptoms caused by an underlying pattern of rapid and disruptive change in the market,” IFS North America president and CEO Cindy Jaudon said. “The need to quickly adapt to change has never been lost on us at IFS. That is why we have sought to lead the market when it comes to enabling enterprise agility, designing our product for rapid implementation and ease of reconfiguration and expansion as needs change. We have also introduced IFS Eco Footprint Manager, which allows our customers to track environmental costs just as easily and flexibly as they can manage financial cost within IFS Applications.”