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Supply chain management is one of the crucial aspects of business transaction procedures affecting corporate productivity. Supply chain optimisation in the current digitisation era emphasises the usage of advanced technology and resources for enhancing supply network efficiency. The recent pandemic has shown the importance of sustainability in the functionality of an industry. The ongoing pandemic had a severe impact on the functionality of different industries. Most of the work process across the world was at a halt and it impacted the employment at large. Hence it called for the need to develop and implement strategies that reflected upon sustenance of the industry. The model of sustenance will help in the formulation of effective work processes within the companies and the relative industry that will help the industry to enhance their customer base as well on the global scale.
In this study, the retail industry has been taken into consideration in the context of sustainability issues and the optimisation procedures facilitating the corporate procedures. In recent times, the UK was heavily affected by the pandemic and it affected the supply chain of the retail industry. However, they have bounced back from that condition. The Uk government is also encouraging eco-friendliness in the business models in the country. People in the UK are also adopting healthy alternatives that are creating an opportunity to formulate a sustainable business model for the companies engaged in the retailing industry. Many of the leading companies like Tesco and Sainsbury's are working to implement green retailing strategies that is beneficial in reaching customer base and thereby ensuring their propagation of the business in the long run.
It is important in the recent time to incorporate policies of sustenance in the business s model. Especially given the recent trend of the people in the usage of eco friendly products there has been a call for the business model to implement environmental friendly business models as well. It has become necessary for the retailing industry to implement such strategies as well to cater to the needs of the customer. Incorporation of effective suppliers’ selection is necessary for the propagation of effective strategies for retailing industry in recent times for business development.
Over years there have been several cases of implementation of effective business strategies aiming toward the sustenance of a particular industry. The retail industry is one of the most poignant industries that connect with common people by providing them with commodities as needed for the daily course of functionality. This industry has been reaching a huge amount of customer base from various companies catering to needs and demands prevalent in society. Supply chain optimization results in improved collaboration. An organisation faces severe challenges while managing the flow of information within the supply chain. Integrated software usage results in the removal of bottlenecks and permits information sharing more effectively.
Supply chain optimisation procedures serve to be beneficial in facilitating the supply of goods and products more effectively through improved corporate resource usage. In the current digitisation era, advanced technology is being used for enhancing supply chain optimisation procedures. According to a recent report, nearly 39% of cloud computing, IoT, 29% of predictive analytics, and 22% of robotics are being used within the supply chain (Statista, 2022). In context to optimisation of the sustainable supply chain, greater emphasis is laid on ethical sourcing of reduced harmful raw materials, improved inventory mobility, and usage of AI for improving visibility. Usage of supply chain optimization tools results in inaccurate delivery of products on time. Furthermore, supply chain optimisation procedures result in fast delivery of the products thereby resulting in improved consumer satisfaction. Furthermore, optimisation of the supply chain procedures results in improved quality control and maximisation of the efficiency raw materials as well as manufacturing data assists organisations to arrange backup plans thereby preventing delays (ibm, 2022). Visibility is one of the vital aspects of supply chain optimisation. Visibility within the supply chain proves to be effective in assessing the performance of the suppliers.
In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic has reflected upon various industries. It has impacted the economic sector vehemently over time. Since the reopening of the business market, the sustenance of the business model has become thoroughly important for the functioning of any industry. Similarly, the retailing industries have also been aiming for a more efficient supply chain thereby effectively catering to the demands of the public. As opined by Vadakkepatt et al. (2021), companies all across the retailing sector are taking initiative to follow measures that are attractive to the trend of environmental friendliness of the production and packaging. Hence, in recent times the retailing industry is following traits in their production and packaging that are beneficial in the course of business generation.
Investors in recent times are mostly drawn toward the business model that leaves the least environmental footprints. In the recent trends, a rise of 11% is noticed in the investors towards the supply chain models that are leaving the least environmental footprint. Retailing industry and the associated supply chain sector thus are incorporating measures dedicated toward efficient environmental performance. According to Mandal (2020), this would not only help in enhancing the prospect of the sustenance of resources of the planet and it also will prove to be beneficial in the course of sustenance of the business performance. According to Kumar and Polonsky (2019), environment friendliness in the supply chain of the retailing industry will help in attracting the customer base thereby enhancing their overall business revenue. It will also propagate innovation and enhancement the reach of the brand.
It is, therefore, necessary for the companies to follow a circular economy theory that associates with the production, consumption and associative supply chain of the products in an environment-friendly manner. In adherence to the theory, it is necessary to implement strategies for effective supply chain management that are based on three key principles. Effective elimination of the waste products, sharing re-usable products and thereby recycling of the products as long as possible contributing towards improved sustainable business initiative. As opined by Kuiti et al. (2019), this strategy helps in the propagation and effective "green retailing" that will be beneficial in attracting customers. It will be helpful enhancing the rate of the business as well.
Supplier selection is a necessity in the formation of effective business strategies that will prove to be beneficial in designing products and supplies that would cater to the demands of the organisation's goals. In this case, supplier selection is a necessity in the course of efficient vendor optimization that would cater to the basic principle of “green retailing", that is the environmental friendliness of the product packaging and supply.
The process of an efficient supplier selection follows four key stages, the first being evaluation of the offers. According to Taherdoost and Brad (2019), in this stage it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness and take note of the ability of the supplier in terms of delivery, the most basic criteria to follow are the responsiveness, capability and competitive value. The next important aspect is to take note of the operational capability of the supplier and thus it is important to conduct a thorough analysis of the operational capacity.
In current terms it is highly important to take note of the policy of the organisation that is more technology-friendly, for example, the implementation of AI and other technology will enhance the quality of business. The organisation must have efficient and updated tools and equipment to meet the requirements for effective supply management. The other most important evaluation is the financial analysis of the supplier and their ability to meet the requirements for effective supplying of the units.
It is important to note three stages of effective supply chain optimization that would help design an effective supply chain structure. The supply chain designing is the stages that are associated with the networking process that is the location of the warehouse, the rate of product supply and thereby strategizing policies for an effective manufacturing process. The next stage is supply chain planning. It includes the stage for effective supply chain designing, asset management and optimization in the process of delivery of goods and services. As opined by Taleizadeh et al. (2018), the last stage involves supply chain execution, which involves effective monitoring of the supply chain, that is inventory and warehouse management, and transport management. High performance of the supply chain ensures a high rate of efficiency and responsiveness. It also helps in optimization in the usage of technology and resources alike for the betterment of the process of delivery.
In recent times it has been necessary for the implementation of supply chain optimization that caters to the supplier selection process. Both these processes together will be beneficial in catering to the needs of the consumers therefore they need to address the issues that are effective for the process of conduct of business. However, there are certain challenges associated with the course of supply chain optimization in the retail industry that hinder the business. These challenges arise due to certain criteria in the retail industry that have been affecting the course of the business for quite some time.
The retail industry and the associated supplier’s selection are often affected by a disconnection in the business process and the data silos. This affects the process of decision making of the structure. There are three main challenges associated with supply chain optimization. The retailers mostly lack the infrastructure that is needed to improve inventory management and cost savings. In the process of dealing with the supplier's selection and the retailers, there is often a lack of clarity in terms of communication and availability of the data. The lack of digital feedback and communication hampers the efficiency in terms of agility and responsiveness of the business process (ac, 2022). There is often a lack in terms of the discovery and identification of the pattern in the errors of the supply chain process.
These issues however can be solved by effective usage of technology, for example, the implication of AI and machine learning and cloud computing services. Establishing clarity in terms of communication and the work processes as a whole will generate efficiency in the process of the business conduction and thereby solving the prevalent issues. Technologies like power BI can be helpful in the process of conducting business (Microsoft, 2022). It will help in analysing the key aspects of demand forecasting associated with the process. Furthermore, it will help in the analysis of the price elasticity of the products in association with the trends, this will also help in effective cost management between the retail and the suppliers. It will also benefit contract cycle optimization for the process of communication in a business establishment. Furthermore, the introduction of modern technologies and effective data visualisation will help in route planning and scheduling related to product delivery and supply.
Over time, the UK has been providing a stage for the propagation of a green business model for the retailing industry for the past five years and it has helped in enhancing the business models of the retail industry. This green modelling is reflected in the work process of the retailing industry.
People nowadays have become more aware of the impact of industrial practices upon the environment which is being reflected in the demand curve and inclination of buying trends of the consumers all over the world. Especially in the UK, it has been noted that more than two-thirds of people from Generation Z are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products (Statista, 2022). The figure stood around 53% for the baby boomers.
Therefore, over time, the UK government has implemented effective strategies that cater to the needs and demands of consumers thereby implementing effective strategies that would be more environmentally friendly. The UK government has actively taken part in propagating values of ecofriendliness to the retail industry and has released advice ahead of the Cop26 climate Conference aiming toward building eco-friendliness in the retail industry. The government advised the retail industry to offer the customers to buy more environmentally friendly products. Assessment of the more sustainable options for the existing products will enhance and formation of eco-friendly business models. Usage of recycled products by the supply chain is also necessary for the eco-friendliness of the products.
The government also advised the customers to buy local products wherever possible, because importing the products leads to fuel emission that leaves environmental footprints. It is all beneficial in enhancing the local businesses. The government also advised improving packaging. Implementation of eco-friendly measures in the packaging by the supply chain management would help in cutting down the rate of plastic pollution and relative emissions.
The government is aiming to formulate an effective business model in the course of practice for eco-friendliness. The UK government is urging the people of the country to cut down carbon emissions by half by 2030 and they wish to reach "net-zero" carbon emission by 2050. Per this, the UK government has launched an UN-backed community called UK Business Climate Hub that is advocating a commitment from people to adopting eco-friendly business models (smeclimatehub, 2022). This approach by the government has encouraged business models to implement sustainable models that aim for adopting policies of eco-friendliness in the businesses. Retail giants like Amazon, Nike and UK based organisations like Tesco are already practising eco-friendly mode of business conductance in the UK.
The retail industry is one of the most prominent industries that cater to the needs and demands of consumers. The sheer global size of the retail market is evident in the value of the revenue generation. The retail industry is consistently one of the fastest-growing industries as it directly caters to consumer trends and their associated demands for the products.
The retail industry has been growing exponentially over years. The global retail industry has reached a market value of USD 26 trillion in 2021 and it is expected to cross the threshold of 30 trillion USD by 2024 (Statista, 2022). Needless, there is huge competition in the marketplace to meet the public demands. Therefore, with the recent trend in the demand for environment-friendly products the retail industry must adopt strategies that would help in modelling the industry that leaves the least amount of environmental footprint and causes a lesser amount of carbon emission.
During the pandemic, the retail industry took a massive hit and so did the overall economy of the world. Therefore the business models all across the world have been implementing strategies that propagate sustainability in the business model. Over years during the pandemic people have become more health-conscious and are inclined toward products that are healthy for the environment as well. Hence there has been a rise in demand in the retail sector to adopt measures that would cater to a more sustainable model of business and enhance the global reach of the consumers. The noticeable trend among the consumers to use environmentally friendly products and the resultant eco-friendliness in the products and the associative services will prove to be beneficial for the prospect of our planet and the natural resources. Hence it is important to implement effective business strategies that would cater to the cause and need for business sustenance. In this case, effective optimization of the supply chain management is highly important.
Certain key stages are to better propagate the supply chain management of the business models in the retail industry. First and foremost it is important to establish an effective supply chain counselling and incorporate an executive leadership within the structure to establish two-way communication and enrich clarity in communication within the structure of the supply chain process. The other key aspect that is required for the effective supply chain is effective staffing, who are well trained and educated in the process. It will ensure the efficiency and speed of the process. In recent times it is important to incorporate modern technologies like machine learning and AI to monitor the flow of work and thereby upgrade the equipment aligned with the human workforce to ensure efficiency in the process of work. Collaboration for effective strategic planning and healthy supplier relation is also a key aspect in assessing the trend in the niche of the products. Other than this, regular monitoring of the inventories and regular reviews will be helpful in the conduct of business. Lastly, “green retailing” is essential in today's time because it is more of a lifestyle for people nowadays. It is not only useful to the environment but also helpful in addressing social responsibility. Therefore, the implementation of an eco-friendly business model is a necessity.
The retail industry is a customer-oriented business industry that is growing rapidly despite the setback during the pandemic. In recent times it has been necessary to implement an environmentally friendly approach to the structuring of the business. The growing pattern among the people in opting for healthy alternatives has given the rise in demand for the usage of eco-friendly measures, the process of conduct of business.
This trend is highly noticeable in the UK, especially the people belonging to demographic strata of generation Z. Over time this has now taken the shape of a lifestyle therefore formulating a sustainable business model is necessary for the companies functioning in the retail industry and implementing eco-friendly measures, in product supply and packaging as well. Even the UK government is actively taking part in this process to lessen the carbon emission in the immediate environment and encourage environmentally friendly business models.
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