Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Role of waste management in 21st century Supply Chain networks

The 21st century has brought many opportunities for the businesses around the globe. But to capitalize on these opportunities is a totally different thing. In this century, opportunities are increasing but resources are depleting. With the decrease in the availability of the resources, the cost of the production is also going up. With the increase in the cost of production, the value added in the production and products by waste is also becoming more and more important. So at every step of supply chain, it is important to control the waste.

The Nano-based RFID tags are in fact a way to cut down the cost by using new technology. Now here you are actually cutting down the cost by replacing energy intensive silicon based RFIDs with plastic or paper based RFIDs. The other thing about RFIDs printed on paper or plastic is that they are lighter, so the cost to transport them will go down as well. So in this process you are controlling waste of energy and using that thing for your benefit. The actual purpose of any new technology, in the end, is cost saving and time saving.[1]

Similarly, Blank Label is controlling the waste in the manufacturing process by letting the customers design their products themselves. In this scenario, they don’t have to manufacture same shirt of different sizes for different prospective customers and wait for the right customer to arrive at their shop and buy the product. They reduce their investment in the manufacturing by making only things that have definite customers. When they don’t have to manufacture extra goods, their waste is zero. So they not only save on the material but also save the energy by not making customer-less products.[2]

In the study related to the resource productivity, the main thing is controlling the wastage of resources at different stages of manufacturing. This article is somehow related to the IKEA idea of saving the transportation cost by designing the  products which are easier to transport.[3] In their search for designing a cup that can reduce their cargo transportation space, they actually saved money in the manufacturing process. Their furnace bill actually went down in the process. They also highlighted the recycling of left overs in the manufacturing process. They cited examples from many industries that either saved on the cost of manufacturing by slightly changing the manufacturing environment or recycling their waste.[4]

The approach to control the wastes in the manufacturing process is a good thing. But it is too early to call the policies adopted by the industries to control the waste right. We know about the cars which use hydrogen and oxygen to run. These cars are called green cars because their byproduct is water. But from where does that oxygen and hydrogen come from. These gases are manufactured at plants and these plants are not manufacturing the gases without consuming any energy or without creating any wastes. In fact, there is a great debate about the feasibility and future of these cars owing to the role of factories manufacturing these gases.

[1]Nano-Based RFID Tags Could Replace Bar Codes
[2] Putting Customers in Charge Design By AMY WALLACE Published: May 15, 2010 The New York Times
[4]Manufacturing resource productivity


  1. Well, waste collection has always been a problem for society. Its not just about throwing ones garbage but throwing it properly.

  2. Appealing information you have provided. It gained me more knowledge and idea.
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  3. Its good to learn that we can save a lot from the experience of supply chain's waste management method.
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  4. Very valuable blog. The whole process of the waste management really a very good according to resources management.It emphases on the reusing the waste as useful resource to increase production.

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  5. This is so true! Today, we produce so much waste and many do not know how to utilize programs in waste management. In Des Moines, Iowa I have been trying to implement a more efficient waste management system. Does anyone have any ideas?

  6. Spending time on the article was really useful to me. However the concept of Waste Removal London is also good to to keep your home clean and free from any wastes.


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