Archive for the ‘Green Optimization’ Category

One of our main activities at Profit Point is to help companies and organizations to plan better, to make informed decisions that lead to improvements such as more efficient use of resources, lower cost, higher profit and reduced risk. Frequently we use computer models to compare the projected results for multiple alternative futures, so that an organization can better understand the impacts and tradeoffs of different decisions. Companies can usually effectively carry out these types of processes and make decisions, since the CEO or Board of the entity is empowered to make these types of decisions, and then direct their implementation.

Infrastructure and resource allocation decisions must be made on a national and international basis as well, and are usually more difficult to achieve than within a company. An example of this today is the on-going controversy in southeastern Asia regarding the use of water from the Mekong River in the countries through which it flows: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
For a map of the river and region, refer to the link below:

http://e360.yale.edu/content/images/0616-mekong-map.html

The Mekong River rises in the Himalayan Mountains and flows south into the South China Sea. For millennia the marine ecosystems downstream have developed based on an annual spring surge of water from snow melt upstream. The water flow volume during this annual surge period causes the Tonle Sap River, a Mekong tributary in Cambodia, to reverse flow and absorb some of the extra water, resulting in a large temporary lake. That lake is the spawning ground for much of the fish population in the entire Lower Mekong river basin, which is in turn the main protein source for much of the human population in those areas.

Now China has an ambitious dam construction program underway along the upper Mekong, and other countries (along with their development partners) are planning more dams downstream. Laos, for one, has proposed construction of eleven dams, with an eye towards becoming “The Battery of Asia”.

The challenge here is to find and implement a resource allocation tradeoff that meets multiple objectives, satisfying populations and companies that need clean water, countries that need electricity to promote economic development and fish that need their habitat and life cycle.

Multiple parties have developed measures and models that can help forecast the impact of different infrastructure choices and water release policies on the future Mekong basin. Let’s hope that the governments in Southeast Asia are able to agree on a reasonable path forward, and implement good choices for the future use of the river.

For more information here are a few examples of articles on the Mekong:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/mekong-dams/nijhuis-text

http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/the-lower-mekong-dams-factsheet-text-7908

In developing a supply chain network design there are many criteria to consider – including such factors as the impact of the facility choices on
• Cost of running the system,
• current and future customer service,
• ability to respond to changes in the market, and
• risk of costly intangible events in the future
to name a few.

Frequently we use models to estimate revenues / costs for a given facility footprint, looking at costs of production, transportation, raw materials and other relevant components. We also sometimes constrain the models to ensure that other criteria are addressed – a constraint requiring that DCs be placed so that 80% of demand be within a day’s drive of a facility, for instance, might be a proxy for “good customer service”.

Some intangibles, such as political risk associated with establishing / maintaining a facility in a particular location, are difficult to measure and include in a trade off with model cost estimates. Another intangible of great interest for many companies, and that has been difficult to make tangible, is water risk. Will water be available in the required quantities in the future, and if so, will the cost allow the company to remain competitive? For many industry groups water is the most basic of raw materials involved in production, and it is important to trade off water risk against other concerns.

As I wrote in a previous blog published in this forum,

There are several risks that all companies face, to varying degrees, as global water consumption increases, including
• Physical supply risk: will fresh water always be available in the required quantities for your operations?
• Corporate image risk: your corporate image will likely take a hit if you are called out as a “polluter” or “water waster”
• Governmental interference risk: governmental bodies are becoming increasingly interested in water consumption, and can impose regulations that can be difficult to deal with
• Profit risk: all of the above risks can translate to a deterioration of your bottom line.

The challenge has been: how to quantify such risks so that they can be used to compare network design options.

Recently a post entitled “How Much is Water Worth” on LinkedIn highlighted a website developed by Ecolab that offers users an approach to monetization of water risks. This website allows the user to enter information about their current or potential supply chain footprint – such as locations of facilities and current or planned water consumption – and the website combines this information with internal information about projected GDP growth for the country of interest, the political climate and other factors to calculate a projected risk-adjusted cost of water over the time horizon of interest.

This capability, in conjunction with traditional supply chain modeling methods, gives the planner a tool that can be used to develop a more robust set of information that can be used in decision-making.
For more details visit the website waterriskmonetizer.com

Nearly 50 years ago, a 22 year-old musician from Minnesota released his third folk music album in as many years. The title track “The Times They Are a-Changin” warned the listener “you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin.” Critics were confounded because not only was a mere kid from Hibbing wagging a parental finger at an entire country, but nearly everyone knew he was right. Those who declined to change with the times were sure to be left behind. That kid, of course, was Bob Dylan.

The Old Road Is Rapidly Aging

This musical detour has a purpose: there is crucial wisdom in that song for small businesses and entrepreneurs. While five short years ago “going green” was an optional choice for workplaces, now even the biggest companies have committed to more sustainability in their operation. In fact, not going green can put your operation at a competitive disadvantage.

Who Went Green!?

Wal-Mart is leading the charge in business sustainability. A week ago, the corporate giant released a 126-page progress report on its efforts to be a more socially responsible and sustainable company, something they’ve done annually since 2008. These reports can be found here, if you’re interested. However, the company’s biggest step may be the inclusion of a “Sustainability Index Score” (SIS) on their products near the price tag. These scores rate the environmentally-friendly factor of product packing and production.

Make no mistake; Wal-Mart has not gone soft. While they enjoy their greener status, they’re most excited about how the changes have affected their bottom line. Consumers want to feel good about the products they buy, and want to feel like they’re making environmentally responsible purchases. Wal-Mart believes these SIS scores will give customers peace of mind when they shop in the retail chain.

Wal-Mart has also installed skylights in their stores and painted the roofs of their buildings with reflective white paint, which shaved a cool $1 million from their electricity bills last year.

In a few short years, the once villainous company has become a model for sustainability, and their commitment has made them more profitable.

Now Is The Time

Wal-Mart’s sudden obsession with sustainability is a microcosm of a larger trend showing that running a green business is no longer only a strategy for courting progressives: it is the new norm. Yet, it has always been admittedly easier to want to be sustainable than it is to be sustainable, especially since many business owners already have their hands full with the usual challenges of day-to-day operations in a less-than-stellar economy.

Nevertheless, things have changed from the way they were a few years ago. Many of the obstacles that were deal-breakers are no longer there, or at least they’re not so insurmountable. Since more businesses have committed to being environmentally conscious, collectively, they’ve learned how to be better at it. Here are some tricks other small business owners and entrepreneurs have picked up along the way that can help make your green transition go smoothly, save money, and make your business more attractive to potential customers:

  • Commit – If you’re serious about becoming more sustainable, you have to commit. This applies especially to small businesses with multiple employees. Putting a recycling can next to the garbage is a good start, but you can go further. If you’re a small business leader, you must communicate to your employees “this is the way we do things here from now on.” Successful conversions require strong leadership.
  • Self-Audit – Do an energy/waste audit of your business. Take a look at your business on a macro-level, and look for ways you can be more efficient. This could be as small-scale as better using the timer on your thermostat, or as large as finding distribution routes for deliveries with less stop signs and stop lights.
  • Upgrade – Upgrade your building where you can. Many hot water heaters and toilets, for example, are decades old and are very inefficient. They use loads of water and run for a long time. Newer units can drastically reduce water bills. Newer air conditioning and heating units are also much more efficient than their predecessors. Note: do some research on government rebates. Sometimes there are some pretty awesome kickbacks for upgrading to more efficient technologies.
  • Track Your Progress – Tracking your energy savings is wonderful for everyone at a business. It’s nice for you when you’re paying the bills at the end of the month, but it also gives your employees ownership of the company’s green growth. This gives them proof that their hard work has paid off and gives them motivation to keep it up in the future.

Continuing with the theme of ownership, encourage your employees to be innovative and creative, always looking for ways to be more sustainable. After all, someone had to think of Wal-Mart’s sustainability scores.

Now

Yes; for the past decade the terms “green” and “sustainable” have been used ad nauseum, but it is unfortunate if this dilutes their importance. Sustainable businesses are not part of a fad that will soon disappear; they’re the new standard. Not only are they more ethical, but they’re also more profitable. Times have changed, indeed.

Hopefully, upon reading this, something you can change has already popped into your mind. What are some of the new ways you’ve come up with to go green? Have you already instituted changes in your small business that are providing a profitable return?

Author: Brent Hardy is Vice President of www.extraspace.com, responsible for all corporate construction & facilities management. He writes about corporate sustainable practices at blog.extraspace.com/category/sustainability.

Manufacture and delivery of a company’s products usually consume a wide array of materials, either directly or indirectly, ranging from rare commodities like titanium or zinc, to the most basic, such as water. Given the explosive growth of world population in recent history, and the resulting increases in consumption of food and other products, and the finite nature of raw materials, the sustainability of the supply chain over time is a growing planning concern for many companies.  Water is often a key focus in their planning, whether it is the main ingredient in their product, as it is in the beverage industry, or a major component, as it is for power generation, paper production, mining and many other industries.

One way to measure the water impact of companies (or countries, or production of industrial or agricultural products, such as textiles, rice or beef) is through the calculation of a “water footprint”, which can help identify what water is used (both directly and indirectly), where it comes from, and the relative efficiency of its use.  This concept is discussed in detail on the website www.waterfootprint.org  which has a wide array of statistics, as well as an interactive water footprint calculator and the option to download extensive research materials.  According to the website 92% of total water consumption in the world is associated with agricultural use.  However, since agricultural products are raw materials in many corporate supply chains, and are shipped from one location to another around the world, nations and companies effectively consume water from around the world.  The figure below shows major international water consumption flows, taking into account such factors as goods consuming water in production in one part of the world are shipped to a consumer in another area.

Source:Mekonnen and Hoekstra (2011)

 

Why should a company be concerned about their water consumption?  There are several risks that all companies face, to varying degrees, as global water consumption increases, including

  • Physical supply risk: will fresh water always be available in the required quantities for your operations?
  • Corporate image risk: your corporate image will likely take a hit if you are called out as a “polluter” or “water waster”
  • Governmental interference risk: governmental bodies are becoming increasingly interested in water consumption, and can impose regulations that can be difficult to deal with
  • Profit risk: all of the above risks can translate to a deterioration of your bottom line.

But with risk comes opportunity – planning for your water consumption, and footprint, as part of your supply chain analysis, and acting in response, can keep you ahead of the curve!

 

Uncovering the Value Hiding Behind Environmental Improvement Investments

Supply Chain optimization is a topic of increasing interest today, whether the main intention is to maximize the efficiency of one’s global supply chain system or to pro-actively make it greener. There are many changes that can be made to improve the performance of a supply chain, ranging from where materials are purchased, the types of materials purchased, how those materials get to you, how your products are distributed, and many more. An additional question on the mind of some decision makers is: Can I minimize my environmental footprint and improve my profits at the same time?

Many changes you make to your supply chain could either intentionally – or unintentionally – make it greener, so effectively reducing the carbon footprint of the product or material at the point that it arrives at your receiving bay. Under the right circumstances, if the reduced carbon footprint results from a conscious decision you make and involves a change from ‘the way things were’, then there might be an opportunity to capture some financial value from that decision in the form of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission credits, even when these emission reductions occur at a facility other than yours (Scope 3 emissions under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol).

As an example, let’s consider the possible implications of changes in the transportation component of the footprint and decisions that might allow for the creation of additional value in the form of GHG emission credits. In simple terms, credits might be earned if overall fuel usage is reduced by making changes to the trucks or their operation, such as the type of lubricant, wheel width, idling elimination (where it is not mandated), minimizing empty trips, switching from trucks to rail or water transport, using only trucks with pre-defined retrofit packages, using only hybrid trucks for local transportation and insisting on ocean going vessels having certain fuel economy improvement strategies installed. These are just some of the ways fuel can be saved. If, as a result of your decisions or choices made, the total amount of fuel and emissions is reduced, then valuable emission credits could be earned. It is worth noting that capturing those credits is dependent on following mandated requirements and gaining approval for the project.)

Global Market for GHG Credits

If your corporate environmental strategy requires that you retain ownership of these reductions, then you keep the credits created and the value of those credits should be placed on the balance sheet as a Capital Asset. Alternatively, if you are able, the credits can be sold on the open market and the cash realized and placed on the balance sheet. Either way, shareholders will not only get the ‘feel good’ benefit of the environmental improvement, but also the financial benefit from improvement to the balance sheet. If preferred, the credits can be sold to directly offset the purchase price of the material involved, effectively reducing that price and so increasing the margin on the sales price of the end-product and again improving the bottom line. If capital investment is required as part of the supply chain optimization, the credit value can also be a way to shorten the payback period and improve the ROI, or to allow an optimization to occur

So, when you consider improving your environmental impact or optimizing your supply chain, consider the possibility that there might be additional value to unlock if you include both environmental and traditional business variables in your supply chain improvement efforts.

Written by: Peter Chant, President, The FReMCo Corporation Inc.

“Going Green” is becoming a higher priority for companies large and small, as regulatory bodies and consumers around the world push for more readily-available information on corporate carbon footprints and companies’ plans to control / reduce their carbon emissions.  But how do you do this most cost-effectively?  Optimization is a tool that can lead to better “green” decision-making.

First, let’s review of the types of decisions that companies are making today.  Here are some real world examples from recent press reports…

Dole Food Company,  the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables, has committed to make its banana and pineapple business in Costa Rica carbon neutral over the next decade.  Dole social responsibility officials Sylvain Cuperlier and Rudy Amador recently highlighted their priorities in achieving this in an interview :

  • measurement of current carbon footprint and activities, such as the use of fertilizers,
  • research into and collaboration on mitigation and sequestration projects, and
  • improved  operations, including increased use of rail transportation on land and more energy-efficient refrigerated containers for maritime shipments.

Tyco Waterworks, a worldwide supplier of water system equipment based in the UK, has documented its consolidation of multiple manufacturing plants into a single Manufacturing Centre of Excellence for meter boxes, plastic injection molding and gunmetal products in Bridgend, South Wales.  Having all its manufacturing under one roof results in a reduction in the company’s overall energy consumption and transport, with a resulting positive impact on its carbon footprint (as well as giving operational efficiency benefits.)

Xerox Corporation, which provides document services and equipment around the world, maintains a fleet of 5,000 vehicles used by its technicians in the United States as they respond to customer requests for service.   Tony Rossi, Xerox’s manager of programs and operational support, said in an interview that his programs, which have reduced fuel consumption over the last several years by 10%, and have a goal of a 25% reduction, can be grouped into four categories:

  • pairing each driver with the best-sized vehicle for his / her needs,
  • improving the fleet’s fuel efficiency as vehicles are replaced,
  • tracking driver routes and distances traveled on a daily basis, and
  • using GPS systems to match available technicians against pending requests as they are dispatched during the day.

The common thread?  These companies have made progress towards their cost and carbon goals by

  • understanding their current situation, and what their options include,
  • implementing more efficient operations over their existing supply chain (thus generally using less energy and lowering their footprint), and
  • making the most effective capital additions to their supply chain systems when justified.

Optimization techniques can allow you to identify the best solutions that are possible in improving efficiency and implementing capital projects.  Thus you can make the best choices for meeting your goals from the options that you have at hand.

In making decisions for a manufacturing-oriented supply chain like the one described for Tyco Waterworks above, a network design tool like Profit Network can help you evaluate the benefits of:

  • keeping or consolidating existing facilities, as well as,
  • opening potential manufacturing sites, taking into account
  • capital costs,
  • shutdown charges,
  • manufacturing rates and costs,
  • freight costs, and
  • and a host of other costs and constraints on operations.

Profit Network uses a combination of linear and mixed integer programming and related optimization techniques to guarantee that you evaluate a range of solutions and identify those that are best for your particular needs.  Potential decisions that can be evaluated include both operational changes and choices among proposed capital projects that will lead to greater efficiency.

Xerox and Dole have scheduling problems that can be solved by both optimization and heuristic means.  The Xerox technician dispatching problem is a variation on the mathematically well-studied Assignment Problem, which can be solved using “greedy” algorithms (which pick off the “low hanging fruit” but are not guaranteed to give the absolute best solution) or more comprehensive methods that can give the best solution, at perhaps a longer solve time.  Transportation scheduling problems again can be solved through these methods. Using the technology of the 21st century will be critical for businesses to meet their “green” objectives.  Optimization technology is one of these new technologies that will help you reach these goals.

This article was written by Dr. Gene Ramsay, Profit Point’s Infrastructure Planning Practice Leader. To learn more about Profit Point’s Supply Chain Sustainability services, please call (866) 347-1130 or contact us here.

Image courtesy of Gavin Schaefer.

Below is a video interview with Ted Schaefer, Profit Point’s Director of Supply Chain Services, discussing supply chain optimization including cost reduction and supply chain sustainability issues for greener decisions with Xpress Optimization Suite.

To learn more about our supply chain network design services, contact us here.

In this video interview with CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly, Ted Schaefer, Supply Chain Practice Leader at Profit Point, offers practical advice on how to make supply chains both “green” and profitable.

Watch the video interview to learn more about the ways leading companies are cutting costs and emissions:

To learn more about Profit Point’s Supply Chain Services, please contact us.

If too little attention is paid to sustainability and green initiatives, profitability and survival can be put at risk.

This month’s issue of Manufacturing Today features an informative article entitled You Can Go Green. The article, which was co-authored by Profit Point’s President, Dr. Alan Kosansky, and the firm’s Director of Supply Chain Services, Ted Schaefer, reviews the trade-offs and consequences of improving financial performance of the supply chain footprint, while also reducing the environmental impact.

You can read the complete article here.

To learn more about Profit Point’s Supply Chain Optimization services, please contact us.

Posted with permission from Manufacturing Today.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued final guidance for the $1.5 billion in surface transportation grants it will award by next February, and among the top selection criteria will be environmental sustainability, innovation, and partnerships. DOT has included sustainability – improved energy efficiency, lower greenhouse gases, and/or less dependence on foreign oil – as one of five criteria it will consider in evaluating a proposed project’s long-term beneficial outcomes for a metropolitan area, a region, or the country. Long-term outcomes, along with a project’s impact on job creation and near-term economic stimulus, will be DOT’s primary criteria for awarding grants.

DOT will also be considering two secondary criteria – innovation and partnerships. DOT is soliciting projects that use innovative technologies to achieve long-term outcomes or significantly enhance the operational performance of transportation systems, and projects that involve partnerships with non-Federal entities and the use of non-Federal funds. Priority will be given to projects for which a grant will help complete an overall financing package.

Recent estimates from DOT suggest that up to $50 Billion in grant requests may be submitted, making this a highly competitive process. It will be essential for an applicant to thoroughly meet the primary guidelines and to score well on secondary guidelines to win tiebreakers. If your project doesn’t yet adequately address the three considerations of innovation, sustainability and partnership, Profit Point may be able to improve your chances of success:

Sustainability
Profit Point provides mathematics-based solutions that optimize the use of resources for maximal efficiency. Frequently this optimization results in reduced transportation mileage which minimizes greenhouse gas emissions as well as fuel consumption. It might also involve minimizing water use, minimizing output of toxic pollutants or maximizing production of beneficial byproducts.

Some examples include:

  • Scheduling ship berths at ports to minimize ship idle time in a harbor
  • Scheduling port (or canal) maritime traffic
  • Optimizing a port drayage schedule to minimize delays and overland carrier idle times
  • Optimizing local school bus or public transit system routes to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while providing optimal service
  • Routing your deliveries or pickups using the fewest miles traveled
  • Providing the algorithm to trigger variable speed limits on traffic leading to a congested area such as a city center or bridge
  • Optimizing deliveries for the elderly, such as “Meal on Wheels,” to minimize vehicle costs and emissions
  • Conducting infrastructure studies to evaluate the full impact of a project, such as a port expansion with intermodal considerations

If you need to address the sustainability criterion in DOT’s guidance or if you can benefit from including an optimization study as part of your application, we may be able to help you. Profit Point was recently awarded the Supply & Demand Chain Executive Green Supply Chain Award for its Green Network product. Profit Green Network can be used along with our Profit Vehicle Planner and Router Applications to create better plans and improve sustainability.

Innovation
While innovation is not a primary criterion for selection, it will be used to rank similar projects in order to break a tie. Adding leading edge technology such as mathematics-based optimization to your grant application provides one way of strengthening its innovative appeal.

Optimization is one of the hottest topics in industry today because it not only ensures operations are maximizing their current objectives, but also allows ‘what if’ modeling for future scenarios. “What if modeling” helps ensure continued achievement of your objectives, no matter what set of circumstances may occur.

Partnerships
After DOT considers primary criteria, priority will be given to innovative projects and those that involve State and local governments or private or nonprofit entities.

While there are certainly many partners available, adding a private, small business partner such as Profit Point, Inc. to the application may strengthen its overall appeal. Building on Profit Point’s extensive sustainable logistics and mathematical optimization experience can help make your project application unique.

Presenting the Proposal
Should you need assistance preparing your application or prefer advice from a transportation expert, you may wish to work with an experienced consultant on surface transportation issues. Phillips Strategic Services, a Northern Virginia firm with strong ties to both industry and government, is one firm available to assist you. Phillips Strategic Services experience includes:

  • Policy leadership at the Federal Highway Administration;
  • Policy development and lobbying for American Trucking Associations;
  • Senior staff to a Senate Committee handling surface transportation issues; and
  • Various government affairs, marketing, and strategic planning positions with Union Pacific Railroad, Conrail and CSX

In conclusion, nearly any type of surface transportation project is eligible for funding under the discretionary program, which was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. DOT has named the program “Grants for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery” or TIGER Discretionary Grants, and applications are due by September 15, 2009 with all grants to be awarded by February 17, 2010.

If you’d like to improve your chances of success by strengthening the sustainability and innovative appeal, or if you need a partner to help you present your application most effectively, please contact us:

Profit Point, Inc.
No. Brookfield, MA
Cindy Engers: (925) 736-6800, cengers@profitpt.com
Richard Guy: (435) 487-9141, rguy@profitpt.com

Phillips Strategic Services Ltd.
Alexandria, VA
Mary Phillips: (703) 360-3560, mphillips@phillipsstrategicservices.com

Climate change – or global warming – and the effort to curb the impact of human activities thought to contribute to it – are continuously becoming a higher priority on the agendas of governments, commercial and non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world. In the United States of America the Environmental Protection Agency, the main federal government environmental watchdog and regulator, recently issued a report finding that projected future levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) “endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations”, setting the stage for a more intense GHG regulatory regime in the future in a country that has lagged behind imposing the regulatory restraints now in place in many other parts of the world.

A combination of internal and external factors have motivated many companies to work towards better measurement, and control, of their impact on the environment, whether in the areas generation of greenhouse gasses, emission of waste water and other effluents or consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources. But as always, companies need to ensure that they make changes in their activities in a cost-effective, as well as environmentally-effective, manner. We at Profit Point recognize the need to move towards a green supply chain, and are working with our clients to help them make the best decisions in this regard.

Our Profit Network supply chain planning software has helped various clients make such decisions as:

  • how do we consolidate separate distribution systems after a merger of two organizations, or
  • where to produce and how to ship new products coming into the marketplace?

However, Profit Network is capable of taking into account not only the cost of such plans, but also the environmental impact. We recently worked with a client who had significant environmental constraints at both the entrance to and exit from their factories – they had significant limits on the amount of source water (a key raw material required for their manufacturing) that they could draw from surface and underground sources, and also had constraints at many facilities regarding the amount for waste water they could dispose of. Both of these constraints varied over the course of the year and geographically over the service territory. Using Profit Network they were able to see the cost and production location impact of the environmental constraints, and make choices regarding how to respond to their situation.

Another major concern of companies is their levels of emissions of greenhouse gasses. A major corporation in the United States of America recently announced that it was working to reduce its GHG impact through

  • Retiring less efficient and higher-emitting production facilities;
  • Reducing leakage of GHGs from its production and distribution systems;
  • Increasing energy efficiency in its buildings;
  • Increasing the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet.

Profit Network will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of these types of activities. You can define the environmental impact of your own activities (such as your production and distribution, and fleet delivery to customers), and those of your suppliers (such as when you purchase electricity). For instance, you could use Profit Network to determine the impact on your carbon footprint (and cost) of switching to a source of electricity that had a lower GHG emissions rate (such as company-produced solar, or purchased nuclear), or moving towards a transportation fleet that had lower emissions per unit of distance traveled.

Profit Point is here to help our clients make better decisions – this includes making better decisions regarding the many environmental choices that companies have in today’s increasingly regulated environment.

This article was written by Dr. Gene Ramsay, Profit Point’s Infrastructure Planning Practice Leader. To learn more about designing a sustainable supply, contact us here.

Author’s Notes:
1. Reference for the company mentioned in the text above: http://www.eponline.com/.

2. Reference for the EPA announcement: http://www.mercurynews.com/politics/ci_12168524.

Green Supply Chain AwardGreen Network software is recognized for its role in helping to build environmentally sustainable businesses.

Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine honored Profit Point, a leading supply chain optimization company , with a 2008 Green Supply Chain Award. The company and its Green Network supply chain design software was recognized as a Green Supply Chain Enabler. Profit Point is showcased with other award winners in the latest issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

Profit Point has been delivering supply chain optimization services and software to Fortune 500 companies for more than a decade. Earlier this year, the company introduced Green Network when it recognized that its clients needed a robust tool to account for and optimize away manufacturing waste, such as industrial pollutants and green house gas emissions.

“Profit Network software has been helping large companies around the world build more robust and profitable supply chains for more than 10 years,” said Jim Piermarini, Profit Point’s CTO. “From our clients’ perspective it makes sense to incorporate environmental byproducts in to the network design to evaluate opportunities and costs and conduct scenario testing in advance of these critical infrastructure decisions.”

The company’s software products are now used to help companies manage the tradeoffs associated with environmental resource constraints, such as limited water supplies in developing countries. Profit Point’s transportation and distribution clients achieve more efficient territory planning and vehicle routes, which mitigates unnecessary fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

The Green Supply Chain Awards recognize small, midsize and large organizations that are taking steps to realize eco-efficiency goals. Submissions were judged based on the clarity and content of each program’s goals and strategy, the extent of the steps being taken, the impact of the results to date and projected results, and the form and presentation of the information submitted.

“We are honored to be recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive for our focus on sustainability and we’re delighted to play a role in helping business managers define and reach environmental sustainability objectives across their supply chain,” said Alan Kosansky, President of Profit Point. “We look forward to any opportunity to help create a more sustainable business environment.”

To learn more about Profit Point’s supply chain software and services, visit www.profitpt.com.

About Profit Point:
Profit Point Inc. was founded in 1995 and is now a global leader in supply chain optimization. The company’s team of supply chain consultants includes industry leaders in the fields infrastructure planning, green operations, supply chain planning, distribution, scheduling, transportation, warehouse improvement and business optimization. Profit Point’s has combined software and service solutions that have been successfully applied across a breadth of industries and by a diverse set of companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Logitech, Rohm and Haas and Toyota.

Supply Chain QuarterlyThis month’s cover story in the CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly magazine feature’s an excellent article written by Profit Point’s Green Optimization Practice Leader, Ted Schaefer, and the firm’s President, Dr. Alan Kosansky.

The article, Can you be green and profitable?, deals with two competing, yet critical issues that face supply chain managers across the globe. As the authors point out, “profitability and sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive. By considering environmental issues when setting financial objectives for a supply chain network analysis, companies can successfully balance the trade-offs between them.”

You can read the complete article here.

If you would like to learn more about our Green Supply Chain Optimization services please contact us.

The Better Process Podcast, an industry show that discusses lean manufacturing news, today featured Ted Schaefer, Profit Point’s Director of Logistics and Supply Chain Services. The show is hosted by Ken Rayment, a manufacturing engineer and Six Sigma Black Belt.

The interview covered a range of topics addressing the challenges that small and mid-size manufacturing firms are facing today, including rising energy costs and increasing competition overseas. The show also highlighted several manufacturing paradigm shifts such as rising wages in China and India and greening supply chains, which are causing manufacturers to reconsider various aspects of their production and distribution processes.

The discussion included a number of recommendations that manufacturers ought to consider, including approaches toward making quantitative trade-offs and the application of optimization techniques to find the lowest total cost for manufacturing.

Listen to the interview here

To learn more about how Profit Point’s supply chain consultants can help optimize your supply chain, contact us here:

(866) 347-1130 or
(435) 487-9141

Send us an Email

Dwight Collins, Profit Point’s Green Supply Chain expert, attended the Sustainable Energy Conference at Cornell University and was interviewed by the Cornell Chronicle for his work on sustainable operations research. The conference, entitled “Sustainable Energy Systems: Investing in Our Future,” provided a full slate of talks that outlined the relationship between energy and climate challenge and considered the viability of an array of solutions ranging from conservation, petroleum and coal to nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and biofuels sources.

Collins, who teaches sustainable operations management at the Presidio School of Management, noted that the “the OR profession is missing out on some major opportunities for leadership in the field of sustainable business.”

Profit Point, a leading supply chain optimization firm, announces the introduction of Green Network, a green supply chain network design application.

North Brookfield, MA (PRWEB) April 4, 2008 — Profit Point, Inc., a leading supply chain optimization consultant, today announced the release of Green Network, a supply chain network design application that empowers a supply chain manager to gain visibility in to the trade-offs they will face when designing a green supply chain. Built upon proven technology, Green Network extends the company’s Profit Network application by enabling supply chain managers to include any number of environmental byproducts, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulates, and wastewater, in to the analysis process. The user can also manage total energy consumption or the type of energy consumed (coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, thermal, wind, etc.) in the design of the supply chain.

“Many of our clients have expressed a strong interest in greening their supply chains to meet the growing demand by consumers,” said Alan Kosansky, Profit Point’s President. “Designing a sustainable supply chain is becoming a significant priority for our clients, but not at any cost. The key to building a sustainable supply chain comes in truly understanding the trade-offs that are faced by decision makers.”

Green Network was designed as an out-growth of Profit Network, an industry-leading supply chain network design software system. Profit Network is a robust, yet cost-effective tool that helps companies of all sizes optimize their supply chain for maximum profitability.

“Profit Network software has been helping Fortune 500 companies around the world build more robust and profitable supply chains for more than 10 years,” said Jim Piermarini, Profit Point’s CTO. “By leveraging our work in Profit Network, we were able to build a powerful tool that accounts for environmental impact and profitability.”

In addition to Profit Network and Green Network, Profit Point’s line of supply chain software also includes Profit Vehicle Router, a system for optimizing transportation routing, Profit Distribution Scheduler for easy production and distribution scheduling and Profit Meeting Scheduler, a sophisticated conference scheduler used by major trade organizations.

For additional information about Profit Point’s supply chain design and optimization software and consulting services, contact Richard Guy or visit www.ProfitPt.com.

About Profit Point:

Profit Point Inc. is a supply chain consulting firm founded in 1995 and is now a global leader in supply chain optimization. The company’s team of supply chain consultants includes industry leaders in the fields infrastructure planning, green operation, supply chain planning, distribution, scheduling, transportation, warehouse improvement and business optimization. Profit Point’s has combined software and service solutions that have been successfully applied across a breadth of industries and by a diverse set of companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Rohm and Haas and Toyota.

Contact:

Richard Guy
Profit Point
(866) 347-1130

Achieving sustainable supply chain improvement is of the highest urgency in today’s highly competitive world, and will probably be even more so in the future. Despite the urgency, the majority of supply chain initiatives have failed to deliver expected results. This paper argues that these failures arise from two flaws:

  1. The improvement initiatives have been piecemeal instead of whole-system; and
  2. The initiatives have attended to the technology and business processes, but have ignored the human side of organizations.

This paper offers an innovative approach to supply chain improvement that remedies both flaws via integration of business process, technology, and social system change.

Read the complete article on Achieving a Sustainable Supply Chain.

Contact Us Now

610.645.5557

Contact Us

Contact UsInfo

Please call:
+1 (610) 645-5557

Meet our Team

Our Clients

Published articles

  • A Fresh Approach to Improving Total Delivered Cost
  • Filling the Gap: Tying ERP to the Business Strategy
  • 10 Guidelines for Supply Chain Network Infrastructure Planning
  • Making Sound Business Decisions in the Face of Complexity
  • Leveraging Value in the Executive Suite
  • Should you swap commodities with your competitors?
  • Supply Chain: Time to Experiment
  • Optimization Technology Review
  • The Future of Network Planning: On the Verge of a New Cottage Industry?
  • Greening Your Supply Chain… and Your Bottom Line
  • Profit Point’s CEO and CTO Named a "Pro to Know" by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine