Essay: Sustainable supply networks

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  • Subject area(s): Business essays
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  • Published on: February 4, 2016
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  • Sustainable supply networks
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Executive summary
In this report I have tried to integrate all the information and data that I have gathered through research. This report is prepared on Les Mills Company. They manufacture sustainable gym equipments to households and commercial companies. In this report I have discussed about Les Mills supply network and how these actors have enabled more efficient and effective implementation of environmentally sustainable business practices. This assessment further discuss about support structure of the company and how company can strengthen its base in sustainability.  
The Les Mills story is one of creativity, inspiration, energy and passion. It is a story of an extraordinary New Zealand family — the Mills family.
Fully New Zealand owned and operated, Les Mills are a team of passionate, positive professionals who have been making a difference in people’s lives since Olympian Les Mills opened the Auckland club in 1968.
With 11 clubs nationwide, they have the most extensive range of cardio and weight equipment, deliver the world’s best Group Fitness classes and Team Training options, and are passionate about Personal Training.
Les Mills prides itself on being a leader in sustainable and environmentally friendly business. They build eco-friendly award winning gyms and offices as well as training staff and members to Re-Think their energy and impact on the environment.
A Sustainable Supply Network of Les Mills comprised of raw materials as they flow from source to product to disposal/reuse. It encompasses people, environmental and human rights activities, information flow and resource consumption. Supply Networks include multiple businesses and Every organization is involved in multiple supply networks as a manufacturer and/or consumer.
Social Accountability
Social accountability gives you assurance that the people in your extended supply networks are treated humanely, paid fair wages, and have safe working conditions.
Climate Change / Carbon and Environmental Management
Climate change has become one of the major challenges for our generation. Smart companies realize that good environmental performance can have positive effects on their profits, reputation, employee satisfaction, and on society as a whole. Knowing your company’s total carbon footprint allows you to take effective steps towards reducing the climate change impact of your business and supply network.
Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is doing more with less. The goal is to accomplish tasks and business functions the same as before — or even better. From the Supply Network perspective, the greatest savings and performance come from focusing on essential systems of an office building, warehouse, or manufacturing facility including:
Waste Management
Within a Supply Network, waste management can involve disposal of hazardous waste, recycling, managing the use and disposal of azo dyes (used in the coloring process of jeans, textiles, t-shirts, and leather), liquid, toxic, and gaseous wastes, along with their unique disposal methods. The most high profile industry pursuing recycling / take back programs is the electronics industry (E-Waste).
How company transports its products around the world, from source to factory to warehouse to store, is an important piece of your Sustainable Supply Network.
Role of Actors in their Supply Network
Research & Development Specialist:
Research and development specialist in the company analyse the data collected by applying quantitative methods. His duty is to manage cleanliness of equipments used and also manages the company inventory and supplies.
Logistic Manager
Logistic manager uses IT systems to manage the stock levels of the company. He helps in developing the business by gaining new contracts and also allocates & manages the staff resources according to the changing needs of the business.
Distribution Manager
Distribution manager collaborate with marketing executives to ensure that new products reach the right markets at the optimal time. He oversees the transportation of goods from production site to consumer to client. He also conducts market research to learn about the demand for different goods and convince retailers to carry their products.
Sourcing Manager
Sourcing manager craft negotiation strategies and close deals with optimal terms. He develops, lead and execute sourcing strategies to asses, manage and mitigate risks.
These agents enable more efficient and effective implementation of environmentally sustainable business practices
Establishing Sustainable Policy Framework — By establishing a sustainable policy framework Les Mills have become sustainable. All the people working in their business has to change their ways of doing business so they can achieve goal of the business sustainably. Sustainable policy framework forces the people to follow the rules and regulations of the framework and work accordingly.
By promoting traditional values and knowledge for sustainable living: They also play a key role in anchoring education for sustainable lifestyles and promoting sustainable products. The actors have the ability to implement sustainable procurement practices and set standards and guidelines for green procurement. They often collaborate with other stakeholders such as businesses; they can provide knowledge and expertise to help improve the eco-efficiency of companies at a local level.
By encouraging innovative resource efficient products and services: These actors of Les Mills Company also promote innovative resource efficient products and services which affects business growth in positive way.
Strengthen waste management systems —Implementation of waste management strategies requires coordinated efforts. These actors help in developing and implementing waste prevention and management programmes. They influence workers and suppliers by giving them incentives to design products which use recycled material and reduce waste.
Support sustainable transport systems — Coming up with ideas of using sustainable transport system for transportation of their goods and services helps the company to stay sustainable in this sector. For example using hybrid trucks, electronic trains etc.
Dynamics in the relationship between firms and that support structures:
Support structure of the company helps in three areas of the business those are
• Productivity
• Growth of Sales
• Implementation of Innovation
Support structure of the company helps the company to determine their weak links and helps the company to come up with framework for increasing their productivity that means increasing their profit. This can be done by implementation of innovative ideas in the company, which will result in growth of sales of the company
Support Structures:
To stay flexible, firm must form emotionally supportive networks that can change as required.
Functional Structure: A functional structure is one of the most common organizational structures. Under this structure, the organization groups employees according to a specialized or similar set of roles or tasks.
Divisional Structure: The divisional structure provides a great deal of flexibility for the overall organization because each division operates separately and focuses on the most pressing issues facing it rather than being triaged by a central authority. In other words, the leader of each division can focus on the specific goals of his division.
Matrix Structure: Organizational structure in which people with similar skills are pooled for work assignments, resulting in more than one manager. For example, all engineers may be in one engineering department and report to an engineering manager, but these same engineers may be assigned to different projects and report to a different engineering manager or a project manager while working on that project. Therefore, each engineer may have to work under several managers to get his or her job done.
These support structures facilitate innovative sustainable practices
These support structures helps the business in innovative sustainable practices by dividing work into groups and making people work for one task instead of aligning different task to one person, business can divide task and give it to people specialized in that area of work. The supporting structure is the transcendent natural load by materials, henceforth noteworthy. Coming up with original ideas and designing products accordingly helps the business in sustainability sector.
Making use of strategic intelligence
Supervision Roles:
Management’s part contains arranging, staffing, coordinating and driving a business association with the end goal of accomplishing business goals. Management uses human, mechanical and money-based valuable things to create approach and important arrangements to lead business. For instance, an association’s management may plan a solid basic structure on which bigger things can be built.
Organisation’s Policies:
Success plans may manage organization duty to constant change toward successful business. Case in point, an association may add to a “quality arrangement,” to guarantee that staff hold fast to the largest amount of quality of deserving trust because of honesty, etc. when outlining items and giving groups of managers in the organization’s name.
To put it briefly, I would say like to say that supply network actors of Les Mills play a very important role in implementation of sustainable business practices which helps them running their organisation smoothly and sustainably.
India Big Bazaar — Business Network Structure
India Big Bazaar is a company situated in Papatoetoe. It is a small sized business. It deals in products that are related to beauty and it also has clothing department. They get their products from local vendors and some of the products are exported from India & China. The actors which are included in the business and their duties are described as follows:
India Big Bazaar owner is the person that makes business plan for his company. He is the one that use marketing research to identify trends and potential markets for products. He provides guidance and training. Introducing a new product and expanding into other markets are decisions that he has to make.
• Human Resources
He is the one that hire employees for his business. As the owner, he have to determine whether the business can support new hires and, if it can, he have to conduct the interview process by asking key questions and avoiding ill-advised and illegal questions. The owner decides on benefits for employees, provides benefit information and forms, fields employee questions and complaints, and fires subordinates for any number of reasons.
• Customer Service
Unless the business can support CSRs (customer service representatives), the responsibility of servicing customers falls to the owner. Besides handling complaints and requests, customer service involves troubleshooting, installation, training and technical support, depending on the product or service provided by the company.
• Marketing
The owner of a small business must plan and implement marketing strategies.
• Resident Technology Expert
Few businesses can survive without cutting-edge technology. As the small business owner, he has to keep up with innovative products on the market to remain competitive. He has to learn how to operate your computers and business software to keep track of orders and invoices, load new software and install upgrades.
Manager is the person that maintains staff by recruiting, selecting, orienting, and training employees; maintaining a safe, secure, and legal work environment; developing personal growth opportunities. Accomplishes staff results by communicating job expectations; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; coaching, counseling, and disciplining employees; developing, coordinating, and enforcing systems, policies, procedures, and productivity standards. Accomplishes financial objectives by forecasting requirements; preparing an annual budget; scheduling expenditures; analyzing variances; initiating corrective actions. Maintains quality service by enforcing quality and customer service standards; analyzing and resolving quality and customer service problems.
Receptionist directs visitors by maintaining employee and department directories; giving instructions. She maintains security by following procedures; monitoring logbook; issuing visitor badges and also maintains continuity among work teams by documenting and communicating actions, irregularities, and continuing needs. Receptionist contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
India Big Bazaar includes two departments that are:
Sales Assistant:
Sales assistant is the person that is responsible for processing cash and card payments of the customers. He deals with customer refunds, answering customer’s queries, giving guidance on product selection to customers. He also
• Stocks shelves with merchandise.
• Reports discrepancies and problems to the Manager.
• Balance cash registers with receipts.
• Keeps the store tidy and clean, this includes hovering and mopping.
Tailor performs minor functions like fitting and studying garments on customers to determine required alterations. Press Garments, using hand irons or pressing machines so the clothes are displayed in the shop in presentable manner.
Hair Dresser:
Hair dresser provides services such as colouring, bleaching, applying treatment, permanent waving (with chemical solutions), straightening and tinting. They advise clients on hair care. They maintain client records and also clean the salon, work areas and equipments
Beautician working at India Big Bazaar salon helps the customers to complete medical questionnaires so any allergies or health issues are flagged up. They make sure that the reception, relaxation and treatment rooms are all immaculate, organized and tidy. They administer manicures and pedicures and nail treatments. They make sure the parlour toilets are hygienically clean. Their duty is to be attentive to guests at all times and assuring the highest standard of customer care and services is provided at all time.
The type of activities performed by each actor is different but these actors are interrelated so that the business can run smoothly and sustainability.
Shared Responsibilities
The benefit is that we are generally not alone in our efforts to grow and develop mentally, socially and spiritually. Different people take on different roles in communities that help support the community as a whole, while providing products or services and other things that people need.
Meaningful Relationships
Valuing interdependence also typically leads to more meaningful personal and professional relationships. Employees that embrace it usually build stronger and deeper relationships with co-workers and clients, and likely enjoy their jobs more which affect the growth of company as well.
Mutual Understanding
All the actors share mutual understanding of what they are doing in the business which contributes to overall business growth. Mutual understanding is an important part of business. People who are included in the business should be aware of what the business requires and what the goals of the business are.
Suppliers: India Big Bazaar gets their supplies from New Zealand and from out of country as well (India & China). Manager and owner are the one that deals with suppliers. Owner have proper contract with the supplier which ensure the owner if any uncertainty occurs.
Customers: Customers are the external factor of the company. Staff working at India Big Bazaar deal with customer. If they have any queries or complaints customers contact the manager of the store.
Maintenance Person: India Big Bazaar have maintenance person which looks after all the equipments used by the company. All the equipments are checked by that person once in two weeks.
Armour guard: India Big Bazaar is member of Armour Guard Company that means all their cash is handled by the Armour guard. Their duty is to safely transfer the cash of the business to banks.
Their structural pattern has helped the business to gain competitive advantage:
Quick to Change
As the owner of a small business, they have the distinct advantage of changing their plan or tactics much faster than their larger competitors. They can bring a product to market more quickly when they have only a few people involved in its creation. A larger company must involve many people and processes in product development, slowing the process and giving small business owner an advantage. They can also adapt their product, based on customer feedback, much more easily than their huge competition.
Close to the Customer
Being close to the customer is important for success in business, and a small business is frequently much closer to the customer than a large one. A small business can meet with the customer more frequently and develop more of a personal relationship than a large company. A large company has many layers and departments and often has procedures that prevent close contact with the customer. Customer complaints can be handled faster and on a more personal level in a small company, making long-term customer relations easier and more profitable.
Lean Structure
India Big Bazaar has lean structure. There are fewer employees than in a larger organization and also fewer layers of management. With fewer employees, they have less need to lay off associates in hard times and can keep business operating more efficiently. Having fewer layers of management makes decision times much quicker, allowing for flexibility and adaptability that a larger company does not have. Their lean structure means that every employee can be much closer to the business and the customer, allowing for both an understanding of how your company works and increased customer satisfaction.
Structural holes in the business network
In this business structure there are some structural holes as well which are defined as follows:
Lack of clear communication: A lack of communication can create uncertainty that leads to stress and conflict. For instance, one worker may be waiting for a colleague to deliver key information so he can complete a task on time. If the colleague does not respond to the worker’s request for a status report or the colleague neglects to keep the worker “in the loop,” the worker may begin to worry that the colleague will not deliver in a timely manner. As a result, conflict between the two may occur.
Lack of training: The rate of production is low when employees don’t know enough to perform their jobs confidently. Unskilled employees could spend considerable time seeking help to perform their jobs or they could perform tasks to their understanding, to the detriment of the work process. This could lead to errors and injury. Supervisors and more experienced employees must also spend time monitoring unskilled workers, which detracts from their work and increases the amount of time necessary to complete production.
Confidentiality Issue (Disloyalty): Disloyalty can be a great issue for the business. For example if the person working at beauty parlour in India Big Bazaar, they offer their services for cheap rate outside their work place. This can affect the business and they can lose their customers.
Closed minded staff: This can be a big structural hole for the company because when the staff members don’t want to change their ways of doing things in the business, it can impact on the growth of business.
India Big Bazaar is a small sized business which has competitive advantage due to its lean structure. They are moving their business towards more sustainability by adopting sustainable practices. There are some structural holes in their structure, but they can overcome those structural holes if there is proper training, proper policies and good communication between the staff members.
Sustainable Business Network is a membership based social enterprise. It includes businesses, government agencies, and organizations. It was established by founder and CEO Rachel Brown in 2002 with the vision to make New Zealand the model sustainable nation for the world.
SBN has grown to become a leading voice in New Zealand business and media, trusted and respected by corporate CEOs, trailblazing innovators, NGOs and political leaders alike.
They work with members, helping them to succeed sustainably and to progress their role towards contributing to New Zealand being a model sustainable nation.
SBN’s Vision and Transformation Areas:
Shifting New Zealand’s energy to fully renewable sources will require clever design, new technologies and greater collaboration between businesses. We’ll need innovative strategies to improve the production and distribution of renewable energy, as well as a revolution in transportation or mobility away from fossil fuels.
Building thriving communities requires strategic business investment in the localities in which they operate. As well as ensuring good working conditions for all, businesses need to look at all parts of their operations to make sure they are creating products and services that build, rather than erode, communities.
Smart thinking is needed to significantly optimize the resource use of businesses and industries.
Restorative means giving back to — rather than simply taking from — the environment. This includes looking at how businesses can add value, rather than simply neutralizing environmental impacts. Restorative activities result in a net positive environmental impact.
Mega efficiency
Mega efficiency involves a shift away from traditional means of operation within industries towards new business models of production, ownership and consumption. It means coming up technologies that are not only efficient but also produce less to no waste in production of precuts. Mega efficiency includes:
Zero Waste: Rethinking design, creating ways for up-cycling and avoiding wasteful practices. Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature. For example: using recyclable packing.
Closed-loop design: Producing technique that are just efficient and are essentially waste free. The concept of closed loop inspires many to find cost-saving ways to reduce emissions, waste and raw materials requirements in their industrial operations.
Econergy comes under mega efficiency transformation area of SBN.
Econergy is a New Zealand based company which design and manufacture heat pump water heaters. Econergy wanted to be more sustainable and Because of the following they joined SBN’s network:
• Econergy wanted to waste less energy and resources
• They wanted their business in a way that supports New Zealand, which means being sustainable and work towards economy health of the country.
• They wanted to reduce carbon emission affecting the environment.
How Sustainable Business Network has impacted on Econergy
-It has developed an efficient water heater, which saves money and is more energy efficient than other water heaters.
– Econergy has installed more than 1000 units, saving 7.5 million kWh of power and gas per year, which has a dollar saving of $1.592 million dollars per year.
– Less greenhouse gas emission (The CO2 is reduced)
Econergy has achieved all this by becoming member of SBN’s network. It has helped their company to become more sustainable and efficient.
Conclusion & Recommendation
Econergy is doing a good job in sustainability sector and I would like to recommend that they should come up with solar energy water heat pumps so that their products can be more efficient electricity wise and they can employee their staff from SBN’s network which can help in New Zealand’s economic growth as well.

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