A lot of green initiatives require intentionality and care from your team not just once but again and again to maintain. What if we told you there’s a green initiative in supply chains that you can rely on to work largely on automated systems so you can make an impact now while you work to improve it down the line? It’s possible with just in time manufacturing and distribution. Here’s how:
It Prevents Overproduction
A just in time logistics plan requires dynamic consumer demand forecasting at the center of decision making. As such, businesses that employ just in time manufacturing get more lead time on whether they will need additional inventory, thereby drastically reducing the need for safety stock being held in a warehouse. And less safety stock means less risk of having product on hand when its lifecycle ends. The effects of product going to waste trickles down from storage to shipping to production to human capital to energy use. So, this reduction can make a huge influence on ecological impact.
It Reduces Inventory Management
Keeping stock in a warehouse unused naturally creates a lot of waste. It’s the supply chain equivalent of idling your car. Not only does it take a lot of curated space with its own environmental impact that could otherwise be used by other products, it requires energy for temperature control, staff to monitor it, and hours maintaining your FIFO system to ensure fewer products go to waste. All of that can quickly be reduced by decreasing the amount of stock on hand at a given time with just in time services.
It Limits Defects
The longer a product lasts, the more likely it is to experience some kind of malfunction. Sure, defects in products are created by being moved from place to place and through accidents, but some also happen in the passing of time. Batteries become less effective, foodstuffs expire, supports wear down.
By using just in time supply chain principles, your business will spend less time holding products, which also reduces the chance of a product wearing out. Not only that, just in time principles diminish the number of times products are moved without the need to house them in the warehouse.
It Minimizes Energy Consumption
Every moment your products sit in a warehouse, they’re using additional energy for temperature controls, lights, monitoring equipment, and more, which can be significantly reduced with just in time practices. But there are other ways these services can reduce energy use as well. Just in time supply chains are more likely to be capable of employing cross docking services that distribute your product while bypassing the warehouse. This means less energy is being used moving stock from the truck to the warehouse and back, but it also can save on fuel because the products can be cross-docked at a location more direct to their final destination than your warehouse location can provide.
It Pools Resources
Cross docking and just in time distribution systems are built with less than a truckload worth of cargo in mind. That means you’ll be sharing a truck with other companies doing the same. These opportunities mean there’s often less unused space in the truck as it transports goods from manufacturer to final destination, thereby maximizing each gallon of gas being used.
The same goes for manufacturers. Factories with just in time business models spend less time on average inactive. This encourages them to improve systems to produce products more efficiently, which also leads to fewer factories being built and causing ecological disruption.
Just in time services is the market’s best way to maximize efficiency today. As such, it’s going to have a minimal impact on our planet as well. Less waste means less being used without purpose, which is exactly the kind of thinking we’ll need to take care of Earth in the coming centuries. Does that sound like change you’d like to be part of? Reach out to our team to learn more about how switching to a just in time supply chain can help make your business more green.