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A Strategy for Co-op Supermarket - Essay Example

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In this paper “A Strategy for Co-op Supermarket“ the author attempts to present a strategy for Co-op Supermarket to develop an environmentally friendly approach while remaining competitive in terms of price. The organization has taken conscious steps to improve their supply chain management…
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A Strategy for Co-op Supermarket
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Download file to see previous pages But even as outsourcing allows organizations to develop cost-efficiency; it increases certain issues of ethics and corporate social responsibility for the organizations. Outsourcing has to be properly managed since it raises ethical concerns such as the misuse of labor and the impact on the environment as pollution increases as a result of transportation. In this proposal, we attempt to present a strategy for Co-op Supermarket to develop an environmentally friendly approach while remaining competitive in terms of price and choice. Supply Chain Management and Ethics Before we proceed further, we first need to understand the concept of supply chain management and its relation to ethics. ‘Supply chain management has been defined as “the management of upstream and downstream relationships with suppliers, distributors and customers to achieve greater customer value-added at less total cost” (Wilding, 2003). The term relationship within the context of supply chain management is vital since it pertains to a relationship with not just the suppliers but also the customers. The customers demand that the supply chain management be ethically sound or else the organization runs the risk of losing its loyal customers. The concept of ethics in supply chain management was activated when BBC Panorama exposed the unethical supply chains of sports and clothing companies such as Nike and Gap. These companies hired under-aged Cambodians at minimum wages in order to keep down prices for the end users. However, the end users after realizing the real cause behind the low prices revolted and soon organization began to explore the concept of ethical supply chain management. Along with this issue, the issue of increased pollution as a result of outsourcing suppliers was raised. Though managers cannot control all aspects of the supply chain manager, they still are accountable for the issue and thus the responsibility lies with them. With respect to ethical supply chain management, the concept of green supply chain management has emerged. Green supply chain management understands the environmental impact of the supply chain and takes steps to ensure that the negative impacts are kept to a minimum. For example, Wal-Mart introduced a new packaging scorecard for its suppliers including Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, and Walmart in order to reduce waste production (Basu and Wright, 2007). The Current Dilemma The biggest challenge that Co-op Supermarket is facing at this time, with regard to its supply chain management, is the lack of integration between its supply chain management and ethical policy. Currently, Co-op’s fashion products being sold in the supermarket are outsourced from China which raises the issue of pollution through increased transportation. Outsourcing may reduce costs for the organization but at the same time, it is increasing the impact on the environment. Since fashion products are basically innovative products, the organization needs a responsive strategy in its supply chain management which is able to deal with the changing demands of the customers. When the fashion changes, demand for the products also change and thus the organization cannot hope to reduce transportation costs by shipping finished products in bulk.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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