Sustainability in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Introduction

The correct use of modern resources largely determines the success of companies that cooperate with partners and regularly supply and receive goods through transport. This type of mutually beneficial trade is typical for modern business and represents a well-established system with different approaches and management techniques. One of the methods of successful and effective control over the strengthening of a particular enterprise’s stability in the market is the use of an advanced system of logistics and supply chain management. According to the existing schemes, any company can competently maintain any transfers with partners if appropriate approaches are introduced to strengthen trade ties.

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The purpose of the paper is to describe successful measures to maintain supply chain management in good condition and help companies to achieve market competitiveness. The target audience is managers of logistics departments and those business representatives who are engaged in the supply of goods. It is supposed that establishing strong links between production and distribution systems is essential with regard to the possibility of upgrading the supply chain of a particular enterprise for the purpose of its sustainable development.

Sustainability Methods to Improve Supply Chain Processes

Control over the supply chain of a certain company’s resources based on a logistics approach enables the economic flows to develop organically. According to Christopher (2016), supply chain managers solve a number of tasks: control over profitability and costs, the flexibility of the chain, and compliance with the level of customer needs. However, in the conditions of economic instability, crisis situations are becoming more frequent, which needs to be overcome while maintaining the capacity for sustainable development.

An important circumstance is the availability of the relevant capacity at the enterprise, which helps to ensure its development at the moment and in future periods when taking into account potential risks. The possibility of working in this mode makes a certain enterprise sustainable in the market and enables managers to effectively control supplies.

Logistics Approach

One of the modern and demanded techniques of control over supply chains is a logistical approach that largely determines the success of a particular enterprise and its work. The logistics approach involves the use of innovative organizational techniques and the opportunities provided by existing technologies. The key concept in this sphere is the concept of flow. Flows, in their turn, are formed by deliveries. Being a scientific discipline, logistics plays an essential role in the study of flow processes, and the competent organization of these processes is manifested in the successful supply of material resources of a particular firm (Christopher, 2016).

According to the author, most contemporary ventures successfully implement logistic concepts in their activities and benefit from it, constantly gaining new clients (Christopher, 2016). Controlling the chain of supply of enterprise resources according to this approach increases the chances of a certain company to successfully work in the market and sustainably develop with the aim of achieving customers’ and partners’ interests and confidence.

Supply chain management is closely related to the strategy of activities of economic entities. Compliance with the terms of this principle of trade is one of the decisive factors of sustainable development of the enterprise in modern and future markets. In addition, Mangan, Lalwani, and Lalwani (2016) note that appropriate measures make it possible to not only successfully calculate the entire work process but also contribute to the distribution of specific goods on the basis of their volume and quality.

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The solution of problems is aimed at achieving the goals of sustainable development of the venture – increasing profits and market share, minimizing total costs in the supply chain, and ensuring sustainability and competitiveness in the long term (Grant, Wong, & Trautrims, 2017). To achieve these goals, there is a whole range of different strategies, concepts, methods, and technologies. Their multiple combinations can significantly improve the efficiency of the supply chain in various economic sectors.

Staff Training

The promotion of the company’s staff educational base is one of the key directions for the effective use of existing trends in the conditions of the goods delivery. High demands made by business today for the qualification of the staff in the field of logistics necessitate the formation of a multistage corporate structure for the training and retraining of specialists. For logistic thinking to be established and developed, it is essential to mobilize and systematically integrate knowledge distributed in various spheres and exchange them.

As Brandenburg, Govindan, Sarkis, and Seuring (2014) claim, to develop the ability to improve, it is necessary to create transparency of actions and their consequences in the supply chain, and today, managers start paying particular attention to their employees’ professional suitability. In cross-cutting logistic business processes, informal communication takes a formal place, which provides the necessary flexibility and success of logistics in the supply chain. It also creates the conditions for freedom of action for inter-functional and inter-organizational logistics coordination. Companies’ top-managers also need to find an approach to incentive systems to increase motivation and readiness for the training of logisticians and encourage the solution of non-trivial problems.

According to Grant et al. (2017), the promotion of the educational system in the field of logistics is one of the primary criteria for achieving a successful and reliable market advantage. The current situation in the world’s economies provides for such a process of supply chain management in which appropriate strategies should be implemented. Otherwise, the enterprise is likely to be unprofitable. Special training courses for employees help to perfect necessary skills in the field of logistics and contribute to developing the company’s activities. (Brandenburg et al., 2014). Therefore, considerable attention should be given to personnel work so that the process of supply chain organization could meet current market conditions.

Modern Technologies

The use of modern transport planning devices in companies’ practice is the right approach in terms of addressing the issue of enterprise sustainability. Significant progress in the field of logistics makes it possible to competently plan the whole process of delivering certain goods, from sending them to receiving them (Wang, Gunasekaran, Ngai, & Papadopoulos, 2016). As a guarantee that orders are tracked and are not lost at customs, various navigation gadgets are used by companies.

These new-generation devices significantly accelerate the process of tracking and controlling transportation routes. As Touboulic and Walker (2015) remark, stakeholders have the right to use any means of improving supply systems, including the introduction of new navigation systems. The authors also note that the prevailing number of managers today strive to receive the latest technology innovations to attract as many customers as possible (Touboulic & Walker, 2015). Consumers and partners are guaranteed to receive ordered goods, which strengthens the relationship between buyers and suppliers and certainly brings profit to a particular enterprise.

Conclusion

The link between production and distribution systems is important in terms of the possibility to improve the supply chain and ensure sustainability for a particular enterprise. It is essential to take appropriate measures to ensure the provision of a stable system of goods delivery and tracking. In order to do it, the logistic method of analysis, employee training, and the use of innovative technologies are used. Appropriate planning allows ensuring the stable growth of the enterprise that does not have difficulties with the organization of supply chains. The application of all these approaches to work allows ensuring the reliability of deliveries and making a particular enterprise competitive in the market.

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References

Brandenburg, M., Govindan, K., Sarkis, J., & Seuring, S. (2014). Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: Developments and directions. European Journal of Operational Research, 233(2), 299-312.

Christopher, M. (2016). Logistics & supply chain management (5th ed.). London, UK: Pearson.

Grant, D. B., Wong, C. Y., & Trautrims, A. (2017). Sustainable logistics and supply chain management: Principles and practices for sustainable operations and management (2nd ed.). London, UK: Kogan Page.

Mangan, J., Lalwani, C., & Lalwani, C. L. (2016). Global logistics and supply chain management (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Touboulic, A., & Walker, H. (2015). Theories in sustainable supply chain management: A structured literature review. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 45(1/2), 16-42.

Wang, G., Gunasekaran, A., Ngai, E. W., & Papadopoulos, T. (2016). Big data analytics in logistics and supply chain management: Certain investigations for research and applications. International Journal of Production Economics, 176, 98-110.

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