You’d be hard-pressed to find a Canadian who hasn’t heard of A&W. That’s because their first location opened over 60 years ago, and they have over 900 locations across the nation. They were often the first nationally branded restaurant in a community. And while their frosted mugs are embedded in our memories, they continue to evolve with their customer’s changing needs. From farm to table, the supply chain in the food service industry is under intense scrutiny from customers who not only want to know where their food is coming from, but also the humanitarian and environmental effects. With a demand for transparency, social media can impact the supply chain addressing customers’ desire for better understanding of how products are sourced. And A&W Canada is leading the pack, with quality products that speak to a changing demographic. They’re the first and only national Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) in Canada to serve beef raised without the use of hormones or steroids, pork and chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, and eggs farmed in Canada from hens fed a diet without animal by-products. And yes, they also serve organic, Fairtrade coffee, too.
Supply chain is where 80% or more of any company’s costs and risks lie. It also presents a window of opportunity that can produce great results when right sort of interventions are geared towards it. This can help the companies to stay competitive and focused. British supermarket retailer ASDA is one of the examples that revolutionized its supply chain management and saved £11 Million along with reduction of CO2 by 35,000 tons so far. About ASDA ASDA Stores Ltd is a British supermarket retailer with its headquarter located in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The company was found in 1965 and since then have become a subsidiary of the American retail giant Walmart. It was estimated to be the second largest supermarket chain in Britain between 2003 and 2014 by market share and is currently third behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The vision ASDA was not naive to the fact that as one of the largest retailers in Britain, whatever they do will have an impact on the sector. They take this responsibility very seriously therefore they devised three aspirational goals that guides all their work, To be supplied by 100% renewable energy To create zero waste To sell products that sustain people and the environment. Julian Walker-Palin, head of corporate sustainability at Asda, said: “At Asda, our approach to sustainability is based on the belief that protecting the environment and saving people money go hand in hand. After all, wasting resources means wasting money – and we hate waste of any kind.” Challenge: Since 2005, ASDA has worked towards minimizing environmental impact of their operations. This saved them £80m that was invested into delivering lower prices to their customers. They saw great benefits from adopting sustainable measures with cost savings of 101-126Million Euros and a sizable resource efficiency. Being aware of the influence they had across their supply chain and with the knowledge that 90% of their environmental impact lies within their supply base, ASDA thought of devising a mechanism that would help their over 300 suppliers find efficiencies in resource management and build resilience.
Recognizing social media is so much more then Twitter, Facebook or an online forum, I took my question to Professor Peter Carr of the University of Waterloo to understand what social media really is defined as; he noted: “There isn’t a generally accepted definition and opinions probably include narrow, which would be restricted to popular public tools (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and broader, including any form of online communications (email, Yammer, SharePoint etc.). I use the broader approach, any online communication between two or more people could be included.” Understanding Carr’s definition on social media, we can really look into how might social media fit into companies – and in what realms? Specifically for the topic of this post, how does social media fit into supply chain? From course material in my Social Media for Business Performance at the University of Waterloo, it is discussed that there are a variety applications for social media in the supply chain, but there are a few I really want to focus on that I find make an interesting case study: visibility, stakeholders and purchasing.
Climate change and environmental accountability are both hot topics in the 21st century. More and more people are becoming concerned about the products they buy and what impact on the climate their production has. It has been reported that also more businesses are increasingly taking environmental performance into account when selecting suppliers. In July 2009, Wal-Mart announced its intention to create a global sustainability index system to keep track of products ratings according to the environmental and social impacts of their manufacturing and distribution. The motivation behind the index is to create environmental accountability in Wal-Mart’s supply chain and to encourage other retail companies to do the same. Wal-mart Stores, Inc., doing business as simply Walmart, is an American multinational retailing corporation that operates as a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. As of January 31, 2017, Walmart has 11,695 stores and clubs in 28 countries. Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue – approximately $480 bln (2016), as well as the largest private employer in the world with 2.3 million employees. Walmart Canada has stores in every province and territory, except for Yukon and Nunavut. Walmart Canada has in total 410 stores (January, 31st, 2017).
Patagonia is a hugely succesful company that grew out of humble beginnings. It all started when 14 year old Yvon Chouinard developed a love for the sport of climbing, as a member of the Southern California Falconry Club. As Chouinard became more involved in the sport, he soon realized that the only pitons available for climbing were made of soft iron and were placed in the rock once and left there. He found that this was not ideal. Chouinard then met John Salathé, a Swiss climber who made his own hard iron pitons. Chouinard thought that if John Salathé could do it, so could he! In 1957 Chouinard bought a coal-fired forge, an anvil, tongs and hammers and taught himself how to blacksmith. Chouinard made chrome-molybdenum steel pitons and before he knew it, he was in business. He could forge two pitons an hour, and sold them for $1.50 each. Over the years, this company grew to officially become Patagonia in 1973; a company that’s roots remain in alpinism but have expanded to include clothes for climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. Patagonia focuses on these silent sports, where “the reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.”
Clearwater was established in 1976 by two very ambitious Nova Scotians; John Risley and Colin MacDonald. Risley and MacDonald started Clearwater as a local Lobster Pound, named for the cove in which they operated, with only a pick up truck and a vision. Over time, their vision grew from its humble beginnings in Hubbards, NS at ‘Clearwater Cove’. Clearwater grew to become Clearwater Seafoods Inc.; one of the world’s leading seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses in Canada. Since its establishment, Clearwater has been a company committed to sustainability through science-based management. As company CEO, Ian Smith notes: “Since Clearwater’s humble beginnings, we’ve continued to invest in science and stewardship of the resource to sustain and grow the wild seafood products we harvest. Sustainable seafood harvesting has always been at the core of Clearwater’s business, and will continue to drive our success moving forward.” Clearwater now exports product to over 40 countries and has over 15 offices and processing facilities worldwide. A crucial component to this continued business growth is the way in which Clearwater manages their supply chain; from ‘ocean to plate’.
When Lululemon was founded in 1998, it was a yoga studio. As the business grew, it became a brand committed to selling the best yoga wear that the company could manufacture. Lululemon understood that their target market valued sustainability, and they designed their supply chain with that in mind. They strive to manufacture products that are free of cruelty, whether that be human or animal, and they try to keep environmental damage to a minimum. Social media has helped the company monitor the current values of their customers. They then update their practices to stay true to the beliefs of their core consumer base. This not only helps their supply chain stay committed to the company’s values, but also provides Lululemon with a chance to market its product.
Organization Name: Mc Donald’s Industry: Restaurant Web Reference: McDonalds, Forbes, Wikipedia In this week’s blog I write about Mc Donald’s, the most recognizable and successful fast food chain in the world. McDonald’s has over 36,000 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in over 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local franchisees while the rest are… Read more »
Title of Post: Skinny or sustainable? A case on GT Nexus and Levi Strauss Source: https://dylansmithmahoney.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/levisgoforthandrewind5.jpg Organisation Name: Levi Strauss Industry: Garment/Retail Name of contact if available: N/A Web References: Levi Strauss History GT Nexus News Supply Chain 247 Supply Chain Partnerships are Win-Win What is Supply Chain Management? In simple terms, it refers to all the processes that define the journey… Read more »
Organization Name: Ben & Jerry’s Industry: Food Processing Name of contact if available: N/A Web references: Ben & Jerry’s USA Ben & Jerry’s Canada Ben & Jerry’s Facebook USA Ben & Jerry Twitter Canada Description of how social media is used for business performance: Businesses and their consumers in the twenty-first century are engaged in a constant conversation online through… Read more »
Organization: Future of Supply Chain, Icebreaker Industry: Manufacturing, Clothing The future of Supply Chain Innovation will rely on changes in the mindset of Corporations to collaborate regarding innovation, in production in how each of their suppliers, process of manufacturing, retailing or delivery is sustainable or environmentally responsible. Today’s consumer wants to know that the product they are buying has been manufactured responsibly;… Read more »