Taking steps to create an eco-friendly manufacturing industry

Manufacturers are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate sustainability into their business processes. With technology continuing to evolve, many companies are figuring out how to combine the digital age with being environmentally friendly. 

However, knowing which software is right for your business can be tricky, especially if staff are used to legacy systems and reluctant, or even unsure how to embrace a digital-first approach.

Here, Jon Roberts, Senior Sales Manager at OrderWise explores the benefits of adopting new technologies and how this can not only improve performance but also improve sustainability.

The green agenda 

One study conducted by Professor Steve Evans back in 2013 predicted that by 2050 the manufacturing industry would be both faster and more sustainable, but for some time manufacturers have been grappling with the green agenda and what action they need to take to make their business more sustainable. 

The reasons for this are twofold. Manufacturers are now facing pressure to make the industry more environmentally friendly, with the UK government becoming the first major economy to pass net zero emission laws back in 2019, to help end its contribution to global warming. 

There is also the desire to generate more sustainable business growth. For example, it was recently revealed in a poll by Subcon that 58 per cent of manufacturers have taken proactive steps to reduce their energy consumption. 

Sustainability is also one of the most important global consumer trends, with Forbes magazine recently reporting that one third of consumers will now only associate with companies that source goods ethically. 

The green agenda is therefore becoming less of an option to become a part of and more of a necessity. And its profile continues to be raised with the likes of COP26. This is something that you’re definitely going to have to deal with in the next 10-15 years or you face being left behind.  

The shift to more sustainable manufacturing 

According to a recent report by Deloitte looking at the future of sustainable manufacturing, since the industrial age manufacturers have been evolving and adapting in response to new technological innovations and changing market demands. 

Today, the industry is moving through another evolution, one that has sustainability at its center and across the spectrum manufacturing practices are evolving in an attempt to reduce costs and waste, improve operational efficiency and gain a competitive advantage. 

Manufacturers are increasingly looking to adopt digitised or ‘lean’ strategies in an attempt to minimise wasted resources and improve overall business efficiency. Integrating these systems offers complete visibility and insight, allowing manufacturers to gain a better understanding of where processes could be optimised. 

When choosing the appropriate enterprise resource planning (ERP) software it’s crucial to find one that complements the day-to-day running of the business. Specialist software can help reduce waste by focusing on manufacturing capacity functions, as well as identifying how resources could be better allocated. 

ERP systems can also automate manual tasks such as stock taking and paper-based picking, removing the potential for manual errors. As a result it decreases the amount of paper wastage but also frees up the efforts of the team for more valuable actions. 

The right ERP can track each operation and support keep warehouses operating productively. Systems such as a mobile WMS uses barcode-scanning technology to make completing manufacturing processes and performing common warehouse tasks as efficient as possible. With the feature of real-time updates, it provides increased visibility as well as the chance to improve business performance. 

Digital technologies can lend themselves to being environmentally friendly. As the manufacturing industry continues to change, keeping operations sustainable will allow companies to innovate and reap the business opportunities that come with it while potentially boosting customer loyalty and doing their all important bit for the planet. 

For more information on OrderWise visit, https://orderwise.co.uk/

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