Innovation driven supply chains perform better

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Innovation- the ultimate survival skill that every business and corporation needs to utilise; without it, such companies, including supply chains, condemn themselves to painful death. In other words, innovation is essential to ensure business longevity.

In a world where networks and customers no longer exist only on a business’ front door step, globalisation has created higher customer expectations and a demand for companies to constantly bring new ideas to life and offer something different to their local and national competitors. Doing so is no longer a difficulty as hardware, software and even mobile technologies are now readily available, in both cost and accessibility, to anyone who wants to use it.

Although new products can be an obvious move towards innovation, a focus on process innovation will avail much more as product innovation can be as simple as reverse engineering.

The job of the supply chain professional is to consider inevitable changes that affect the processes and work towards ensuring that such processes, including their products and services, flow effectively.  Implementing these new strategies will aid growth and, just as important, sustainability.

One corporate who have identified the need for innovation when addressing environmental sustainability, is Cummins, who, as explained by Jim Johnson, Corporate Indirect Purchasing Sourcing Specialist of EME Facilities at Cummins, have recently launched Environmental Gateway.

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“Environmental Gateway is a process that encourages and invites innovation within the environmental supply chain to positively impact Cummins 2020 Environmental targets whilst promoting supplier inclusion. The project team works to identify ‘themes’ that they wish to be solved via innovations and then invites suppliers to put forward their innovations that can support these themes. Suppliers are then shortlisted and invited to present escalator pitches to senior Cummins leaders, with successful suppliers invited to trial their innovations at Cummins facilities.”

The programme is essential to helping Cummins achieve their 2020 targets by reducing cost, waste, energy and water consumption while promoting supplier inclusion and environmental innovation.

The need for innovation within the supply chain should also drive the need for a diversity of innovation, providing creative minds from outside of the industry the opportunity to offer solutions that better the chain efficiency.

The MSDUK Innovation Challenge seeks to provide such opportunity to BAME entrepreneurs from across the country. Finalists will present their innovative product or service, to a panel of industry experts and potential buyers with the view to access market. In addition, the event will attract buyers and category managers from top global corporate organisations including Cummins and hundreds of businessmen and women from ethnic minority owned business across the UK, who will have the opportunity to watch the pitches from the live audience.

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Cummins are proud sponsors of the Innovation Challenge; Johnson attributes Cummins’ desire to get involved to the Innovation Challenge’s goal to reach more suppliers and make use of innovation that would have otherwise been missed had the competitions not existed.

“The Innovation Challenge furthers Cummins commitment to increasing supplier inclusion as it helps gain access to some of the latest and most innovative suppliers in the market place. We also see this competition as a potential direct route into business, with suppliers pitching to a host of business leaders.”

Entries to the Innovation Challenge are now closed. Finalists will be announced soon. To register to attend MSDUK Business Show and Innovation Challenge, please click here

For more information about Cummins Environmental Gateway, please click here