When an hour isn't long enough to say what you need to say, you've got a great topic on your hands. The future of the supply chain is one such topic.
China clearly plays a big role in that future, and the EBN Webinar Future of the Supply Chain: How to Remain Relevant in a Changing and Interconnected World spurred some discussion on that country. (The Webinar will be available on demand Monday.)
Corporate social responsibility is something many companies are trying to integrate into their supply chain practices. What are companies in the West doing to drive more positive changes in China? Pamela J. Gordon, founder and president of Technology Forecasters Inc., and Jeff Rangel, senior manager of corporate affairs at Brocade, cite California's new Transparency in Supply Chains Act. It requires companies with at least $100 million of gross receipts to regularly report the specific steps being taken to ensure their supply chains do not include contractors involved in illegal labor practices. (See: Transparency Law Creates Unease in Asia.)
The sheer size of the California market may be one incentive for Asia-based companies to improve worker conditions. Another incentive: OEMs are increasingly asking their supply chain partners about their labor policies and practices. To remain competitive in the global market, companies are going to have to pay close attention to the impact they have on society and the environment.
On a related topic, buyers of consumer electronics are increasingly considering the environment. Chris Ely, manager of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, said his group asked consumers the following question:
- Thinking about your next consumer electronics purchase, which may take place over the next few years, how important or unimportant would each of the following be to your decision to purchase a particular consumer electronics product?
Eighty-four percent of the respondents said the product's energy consumption would be either important or very important.
Please let us know what you think will shape the supply chain's future at firstname.lastname@example.org.