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Supply Chain Management In Organization
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1. Introduction to the Proposal
The sustained economic growth across the global economy has eventually increased the level of non-renewable resources and energy consumption. The supply chain operations of the several organizations across varied industries across the globe are directly contributing towards resource depletion problems. Several of the organizations are also breaching their environmental responsibilities towards their surroundings by creating environmental hazards through its supply chain activities and operational practices. As a result, the concept of green supply chain management has emerged as a new systematic environmental approach in the industry. This approach has already been accepted by several of the forward thinking and prominent organizations in the manufacturing and service industry. In fact several or the organizations have experienced positive operational outcomes by balancing economic and environmental performances of their supply chain operations.
Thus, the impact of implementation of the Green techniques in the Supply chain management of the manufacturing and service organizations are intended to study in this research proposal. This study conducted in this proposal is highly restricted to more usage of qualitative research tools over quantitative research tools of measuring the periodic financial performance of these organizations selected for study. The responses obtained from the samples selected for the study would be converted in to qualitative information that would be further analyzed and researched. Several of the existing literature pertaining to adoption of green supply chain management practices, would also be compared with the research data obtained.
2. Research Question and Purpose
The Purpose of this research proposal is to rightly identify and propose a conceptual model for incorporating green supply chain management practices in organizations that would eventually help organizations in improvising their economical, operational and environmental performance. The industry experts working closely with supply chain activities for at least eight years would be identified across several industries and several locations across the world. Either email communication or video conferencing would be used to capture the responses of these experts. The Positive hypothesis for the study conducted on adoption of green supply chain management practices, would be a positive operational performance of an organization after adoption of the environmental friendly changes in the supply chain activities. A negative impact shown by the implementation of green supply chain practices on the organization’s operational performance, even in the long run, would be termed as a negative hypothesis for this study. Making hardly any difference in terms of both economic and operational efficiency, would be termed as neutral hypothesis for the study.
3. Literature Review
A. Application of GSCM concept in developed nations:
According to Zhu and Sarkis, the Green Supply Management process actually consists of range of actions that has to taken in the purchasing of products and services for the manufacturing process so that the cost effective method of production can be achieved. This way an effort is made to achieve integrated supply chain method in action by reviewing the business operation from supplier, manufacturer, customer and other logistics requirements. The main purpose behind the integration of the whole environment management process is to achieve a green supply chain management which could help in fighting back the competition that exists in the markets. Also the natural environment can be preserved from the business activities by controlling the outcome that may bring adverse effects on it. The Green Supply Chain Management programs have been adopted in various developed countries in the recent years including Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom and various other countries. Limited level of application of this concept has been observed in developing nations such as China, Malaysia, Brazil and India (Zhou et al., 2008).
According to Large and Thomsen, their actually exist five types of potential drivers that helps in application of Green Supply Chain Management in various countries. The researchers took the case of Germany for the application of this concept. It was found that the Green Supply Chain Management can be achieved with the followings.
- The achievement of the capabilities for achieving GSCM by the management,
- Strategy development for the same by the purchase department,
- Commitment of the whole organization process towards GSCM,
- The level of the acceptance of this concept and
- Finally the achievement of collaboration between the organization and its suppliers for the application of this process.
This way the achievement of GSCM in practice requires collaboration of the organization with the suppliers so that the high level of commitment and strategic development can be achieved (Large & Thomson, 2011).
Another study made by Azevedo et al in Portuguese automobile supply chain management system helped in understanding the main motives behind the application of the Green Supply Chain Management process which included improving quality of output, achieving customer satisfaction and increasing efficiency of business. The research also recognized the motive of bringing cost effectiveness in the business environment and achieving conservation for the natural environment. This way the concept of GSCM has various benefits associated which are tried to be achieved through its application (Azevedo et al., 2011).
According to Chiou et. Al, the research made in Taiwan confirmed the benefit of the application of the Structural Equation Modeling method in achieving Green Supply Chain Management in the business enterprises. The evaluation suggested that the concentration on the suppliers for following the green innovation methods helps in achieving higher competitive advantage and improve environment related performance. This way the companies that work in proximity with the suppliers can easily achieve GSCM in their business operations. This requires the directions given to the suppliers for the achievement of these goals through contract that consist of regulations that needs to be followed to safeguard environment and achieve cost effective and quality output. Thus not only the cost of production is actually tried to be achieved but the transportation of raw material and other goods is made environment friendly up to great extent (Chiou et al., 2011).
According to Cagno et al., the research made in Italy confirmed that the improvements in the third party logistics helped in achieving higher level of acceptance for the Green Supply Chain Management in the company. This way the companies need to make potential efforts in the application of the GSCM practice in the third party logistics systems so that the environment security and sustenance can be achieved for the organization. The various logistics facilities in various countries therefore require following of set of guidelines that the organization interested in application of GSCM needs to deliver. These sets of guidelines are actually required to be offered at the time of agreement. This way the organizations can direct the logistics companies to follow a definite set of guidelines for delivering quality output to the organization through application of GSCM. This way only the agreed parties who are interested in the application of GSCM will enter into contract and follow the same guidelines. Other logistics companies who are not sincere with such efforts will definitely take away themselves from the deal and hence the deal will be finalized between the people who are actually interested in preserving the environment and achieve cost effectiveness through the application of GSCM (Cagno et al., 2011).
Nawrocka et al. made research in Sweden and concentrated on the application and role of ISO 14001 standards in various companies. It was found that the environment supply chain management practice was well accepted in some companies. He took the case study of various Swedish Companies where the application of ISO 14001 was applied and thoroughly followed. This way among the various other motives the key motive behind the application of ISO 14001 is to apply GSCM in the companies. This actually ensures that the companies follows the definite tasks of preserving environment, achieving cost effectiveness and increasing output by applying the environment safety methods in the supply chain management by guiding the logistics and suppliers accordingly. He identified the presence of three operation tasks for the application of the GSCM in these companies (Nawrocka et al., 2009). These are stated as below.
1. Accurate and appropriate communication of the actual requirements to the suppliers. That is the suppliers need to be conveyed with the actual requirement that can help in the achievement of the desired manufacturing outcome. The wastage will be declined and the lean production process will be applied which will be save millions for the company.
2. Motivating the suppliers and make them able enough to achieve the GSCM in their practice. That is the suppliers need to be guided to achieve the application of Green Supply Chain Management by giving them guidelines and instructions. It is also suggested that the companies need to support the suppliers by financial and motivational support to develop and apply the GSCM in their work process so that the cost effectiveness and environment safety can be achieved.
3. Verification of the suppliers at various stages and at regular intervals in the application of the GSCM concept application. That is the suppliers method of working and delivering output needs to be checked and rechecked at regular intervals so that the most appropriate outcome is achieved. This includes guiding the suppliers and thereafter carefully reviewing the outcome during the delivery. This will help in keeping a close control over the business operation that has been followed by the suppliers for the support of business process in the organization.
B. Application of the Green Supply Chain Management in developing nations:
According to Anbumozhi and Kanda the application of the Green Supply Chain Management in the developing countries like China, India, Malaysia, Brazil and other countries is linked with the development of the production process to achieve environment friendly and upgraded business system. These companies adopt the environment saving plans under the GSCM with a view to save the environment as per the government restrictions. However it is suggested that these companies should instead move towards a more proactive approach so that the actual Green Supply Chain Management process can be initiated and adopted. This way the companies should realize their responsibility well in advance and take appropriate steps accordingly. But what is actually been observed that these companies has a motive of earning huge profits. They tend to apply the environment safety measures only for the sake of fulfilling government regulations. Thus there is a missing of a desire to achieve the application of the GSCM process (Anbumozhi & Kanada, 2005).
According to Rao, little research has been done in the developing countries with the non interest of the people especially the businessmen in safeguarding the natural environment. These businesses do not recognize the benefit that they can actually gain by the application of the concept of GSCM. Therefore the lack of commitment was identified in various developing countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and other South East Asian countries (Rao, 2002).
According to Large et al., it is actually observed that the business operation in developing countries are not controlled and guided by an effective government guidelines and instructions that lead to the development of the plans that does not safeguard the environment. Also the suppliers in the developing countries do not hesitate in compromising the natural factor and other people interest in wake of earning huge profits. Finally the non rational management and the absence of enlighten citizens has resulted in the further application of such policies that harm the natural environment. Logistics in the developing countries follows polluting methods of transferring products and services from one place to another. The lack of environment friendly laws and commitment of the government bodies and employees in achieving GSCM has resulted in the downgrading of the production and logistics process which has resulted in affecting the natural environment and habitat (Large & Thomson, 2011).
According to Cagno et. al., most of the people in the developing countries consider the application of the Green Supply Chain Management process as an addition in the cost of production. This is because the application of the pre-requisites requires one time investment and commitment for its regular usage. This commitment and investment is not made fairly by the businessmen in the developing countries. The result is the ineffective and high cost consuming logistics and supply process is come into action that increases the cost of production. Thus instead of making one time investment and appropriate care in the production process, the business people actually make the business process highly costly and along with that affect the environment (Cagno et al., 2011).
c. Review of the previous literatures:
The review of the previous literatures that have been closely associated with the study and adoption of green supply chain management techniques across several industries, across several regions. These studies would further assist us in our research activity of investigating the benefits of adoption of green supply chain management practices. The following table summarizes the reviewed literature:
Zhu et al.
Evaluating Green Supply Chain Management among Chinese Manufacturers from the Ecological Modernization Perspective
The regulatory pressures in the region was the key influencer for the adoption of Green Supply chain practices in the region
Eltayeb et al.
Green supply chain initiatives among certified companies in Malaysia and environmental sustainability: Investigating the outcomes
The manufacturing industries have started slowly adopting green techniques, but the service providers are still reluctant for change
Holt and Ghobadian
An empirical study of green supply chain management practices amongst UK manufacturers
Environmental performance is a key legislative pressure for the industries which are the key internal drives for change
Hervani and Sarkis
Performance measurement for green supply chain management
Many of the participants of the study have shown proactive attitude in adoption of green practices and accordingly have reaped operational benefits
Hugo and Pistikopoulos
Environmentally conscious long-range planning and design of supply chain networks
Buyer’s environmental requirements are supporting the suppliers’ willingness to participate in green supply chain management activities.
Firstly our research is indented to measure the impact of adaptation of the Green techniques in the Supply chain management of the organizations using a qualitative research tools. Initially a primary research would be conducted to derive the latest first hand information from the industry practitioners. The practitioners who have at least 8 years of industry experience and those who are practically well versed with the implications of the several supply chain management techniques on operational performance of an organization would be selected as samples for the research. This investigation would be made through interviewing the selected industry practitioners across several industries via either email communication or video conferencing, for at least ten samples in the product manufacturing industries and ten samples from the service industry. The reasoning and responses received from these practitioners would be fed in the data tables designed to measure the significance and benefits of green practices in supply chain management of product and service organizations. The data extracted would then be further analyzed in to meaningful information to arrive at a considerable reasoning from the study. The various secondary sources of information would also be utilized to compare the responses from the samples against the prominent well accepted researches in this field.
The study on the adoption and the benefits of the concept of the green supply chain management practices on the overall performance of the organizations and the benefits derived by the organization from this practice, is strictly restricted to the responses from the senior personnel from the respective industries. The reasoning for carefully choosing the experienced staff members belonging to the supply chain management practices background as samples is to obtain more practical, accurate and reliable first hand data from these samples. The improvement in the Operational, Economic and Environmental Performance of an Organization after incorporating Green measures in the supply chain process, would be the key measurable in the research. The threats of reliability and validity of the data would be significantly low as data would be captured from reliable sources.
5. Planning, Analysis and Organization
The adoption and success of green supply chain management practices is a prominent and critical research area that is also popular among the industry patrons and students of this subject. The adoption and implementation of this concept in the medium sized organizations is still a challenging transformation. The Management of the several of these midsized organizations still foresees adoption of green supply chain practices as unnecessary expenditure to the organizations. Many of the organizations based in the developing countries still fear the adoption of green supply chain practices, in the fear of hampering their sustained operational and economic progress.
This study envisages identifying the gaps between the adoption and non adoption of the green supply chain practices. Our research also tries to obtain considerable reasons as why these green supply chain practices are sought useful or harmful to the operational performance of the businesses. The implementation of the green supply chain management objectives can be efficiently achieved through several of the stakeholders working closely with the operational activities of the organization. Working closely with the raw material manufactures and other suppliers actively involved in the supply chain, would enable in gradual reduction and elimination of the product environmental impacts. Also reduction and control over the wastage of materials employed in the product manufacturing process in the organization would also have a significant positive impact on the operations of the Supply chain management activities.
This research will be very much resourceful for the industry practitioners as well as students of the supply chain management practices. The practical applications of the green techniques implemented by the successful practitioners would be shared through this research. This research would not cease with the measure of success or failure of incorporating green supply chain techniques across several organizations belonging to several industries; but will further analyze the specific reasons or implementation techniques that made the implementation successful.
This research would thus enable effective networking with the several industry practitioners. The industry patrons selected as samples would be rich source of practical information on effective green management of supply chain activities in the organization, as they would be actively involved in the various practical aspects of implementation of green supply chain management activities. This research accordingly attempts to collect study and measure the responses obtained from the primary sources of information. A careful analysis and literature review of the various researches conduced in this field would further strengthen the research purpose, of study of the rightly directed adaptation and implementation of green supply chain management practices in organizations and the measurement of the several benefits derived from them. The various methods and the key agents that can help in the application of the Green Supply Chain Management process in action have been identified. The need is the commitment and support that the organization has to give to the suppliers and logistics companies so that the desired outcome can be achieved in terms of ensuring environment safety along with achieving cost effectiveness and improving production process as per the reviewed and suggest Supply Change Management process. These way huge benefits can be gained with the application of the GSCM in the business process which will not secure environment but bring economic gains for the organizations as well.
ReferencesAnbumozhi, V. & Kanada, Y., 2005. Greening the production and supply chains in Asia: Is there a role for voluntarily initiatives? IGES Kansai Research Center Discussion Paper., 6E, pp.1-22.
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