IBM Delves Into Supply Chain Evaluation

by | Oct 20, 2009

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IBM supply chainIBM is launching a new consulting service to capitalize on the growth market in companies attempting to evaluate various environmental metrics about their suppliers.

The company has developed a suite of methods to collect, manage and analyze supply chain energy use, environmental impact, quality, safety, cost, efficiency and labor practices, according to a press release.

The new service is designed to assist multinationals who may have thousands of partners in their supply chain, said Eric Riddleberger, IBM’s business strategy consulting global leader, who heads up the company’s corporate social responsibility consulting efforts.

If companies adopt technologies and processes to collect and analyze large amounts of information they can save 8-12 percent in supply chain costs, with corresponding savings related to energy efficiency, environmental impact and risk, according to the release.

The new consulting service adds to IBM’s Sustainable Procurement Consulting Service, which was launched in April.

In June, the company released the results of a survey about CSR and the supply chain. At the time, 87 percent of those surveyed said they had focused CSR efforts to create efficiencies, but most were not seeking the sort of information that would optimize efficiencies in the supply chain, waste management and product life cycle.

About 29 percent of the respondents said they weren’t collecting any of CSR-related data from their supply chains. Eight in 10 weren’t collecting supplier data for CO2 emissions and water usage, and six in 10 weren’t checking supplier data for labor standards.

IBM’s Sustainable Supplier Information Management service also will help companies incorporate part numbers in the supply chain, to improve traceability of CSR information.

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