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CSR and Supply Chains: What Is Corporate Social Responsibility, & What’s Its Role in Supply Chain Management?

Ethics and sustainability are two factors affecting brand value around the globe, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is part of the equation. According to Forbes, CSR and supply chains are closely linked. Supply chain leaders must understand the public concerns about the environment, health and safety. As consumers have grown more accustomed to the impact of companies around the globe, demand for better integration of CSR and supply chains has come to the forefront.

Poor Corporate Social Responsibility Reduces Brand Value

Poor CSR has a fundamental flaw in modernity. Consumers have access to an endless resource of reviews, reports, and information via social media and the internet. Unfortunately, a misstep in CSR and supply chains could result in severe setbacks.

For example, Apple faced a CSR scandal in 2012, similar to the current issues affecting ZTE, regarding workplace safety and fair wages at its Chinese manufacturer, Foxconn.

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Essential to Supply Chain Success

An established CSR strategy enhances overall reputation, explains Financier Worldwide. It is crucial to competitive advantage, especially with Amazon making great strides in worker safety and compensation. Supply chain success hinges on the information available to consumers in the age of e-commerce, so a proper CSR strategy is key to ensuring a slip does not cost the company its reputation, millions of dollars in lost sales, and even penalization by watchdog groups. In fact, up to 82 percent of sales were influenced by a CSR.

How to Properly Integrate CSR and Supply Chains

Today, up to 40 percent of North American companies produce an annual CSR and supply chains’ report, compared to 81 percent of European companies. Even sales via third-party marketplaces, like Amazon, are subject to the influence of internal and external CSR reports. As a result, Warehouse Managers need to know a few things about how to develop a CSR program and integrate it with existing operations. As explained by the American Marketing Association, this includes:

  1. Understanding the overall vision of how a CSR report could affect business objects.
  2. Recognizing the scope of establishment and need for ongoing visibility in the company.
  3. Identifying the tools, timelines, and resources necessary for CSR planning and continuity.
  4. Leveraging the aforementioned steps in a cycle of continuous improvement, putting the company in the best light possible.

Bring Your Systems and Goals Into Strategic Alignment With the Right Supply Chain Partner

Understanding the challenges of corporate social responsibility and supply chain management is a top priority for supply chain executives and warehouse managers. Since CSR supply chains go hand-in-hand with integrated systems, warehouse managers should make CSR-conscious decisions by reducing waste. In other words, a supply chain manager should begin integrating their systems and reducing waste. For assistance in meeting these goals, working with a third-party integrator, such as Veridian, may be the best solution.

Veridian, a Manhattan Associates, HighJump, and JDA warehouse management system implementation company, can help you realize your supply chain success. Fill out the contact information below in order to schedule a consultation call with one of our supply chain professionals.