Three Big Supply Chain Trends for 2011, Part 2

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Ms. Daisy
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Sustainability Initiatives
Ms. Daisy   1/18/2011 7:29:41 PM


You are on point regarding the key to business successes and sustainability. It is the leadership and the quality of the management team. There are three levels to the concept of a product, the core product, tangible product, and augmented product. The core product is the most essential and always provided in some tangible form. The emphasis on the core product as the sustainable product in the absence of a leader that gets it like Steve Jobs is simply a hype. The leader that is able to pull all the organizations' product lines (core product, tangible products, and the augumented products) to prominence under a strong management that gets it is the one that will demonstrate sustainability. The leader must be able to evaluate each component of the marketing mix to better understand products. 

I get the fact that the main objective of marketing a product is to influence the target population’s behavior by offering services and/or benefits that are attractive and affordable. But the tactical components of a succesful marketing mix (the product, promotion, and price) under clear and effective leadership is the organization's key to adapting to its environment and remaining competitive. 

The concept of sustainability that is wrapped around a core or sustainable product and the idea of a catalyst is unclear to me.he organization that will thrive with the uncertainities in the external environment, is one that maintains an internal environment which has a cultural system that demonstrate high levels of flexibility, adaptability, and is responsive to changes in the external environments. It is also the organization that maintains the tangible product in association with the core product in a manner that allows the organization to be portrayed as prominent thereby gaining a wide audience, especially if the products are geared towards the audiences needs.



Paul McNeillis
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Re: Sustainability Initiatives
Paul McNeillis   1/14/2011 3:40:53 PM

Dave thanks for this: I think your key word here is "implement". While I recognise the value of initiatives like Wal-Mart's to act, as you put it, as a catalyst, the question is: what do they catalyse? I believe they draw management attention to the issues; they demand a mastery of information and data; and they ask searching questions within an important core business funtion of procurement. In that sense I fully support them. However even when these, cap and trade, in Europe consumer demand and in the UK Energy market reform and other cumulative market incentives are present there is one common ingredient in all successful implementation: leadership. To date I have still seen nothing more powerful and few if any substitutes. Just look at the correlation between companies winning the sustainability awards like Unilever and the level of senior sponsorship - its usually the CEO. Someone somewhere in authority within the company must "get it" and do what good business people always do: strategise, innovate; create value and compete in the new context. Without this no amount of catalysts will move a company.



Dave Sasson
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Supply Network Guru
Sustainability Initiatives
Dave Sasson   1/13/2011 5:39:39 PM

Paul thanks for the article.  What do you think will be the catalyst for companies to implement widespread sustainability initiatives in the next 3-5 years?  Will it be more companies like Wal-Mart who have their Sustainability Scorecard as a guideline and rating system for their suppliers, or do you see something more drastic like Cap and Trade or some kind of industry or government compliance?  Would be interested to get your insights, as I am not sure consumers will be requesting or demanding it for quite some time in enough volumes to force the issue.

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