Companies may expect to have their supply chain management practices placed under heavy scrutiny by trading partners and industry regulators. According to Industry Week contributor Clyde Kofman, however, there is a new group subjecting logistics organizations to close attention and high standards – the general public and the end users of the objects produced.
Kofman explained that his research firm, UL, conducted a survey that indicates future customers will be increasingly interested in the goings on behind the scenes at the companies that make the goods they buy. He explained that increasing use of the internet and social media has enabled high-speed sharing of opinion and information, which empowers end users.
According to Kofman, even industry giants like Apple can become objects of close and suspicious observation if they seem to have negative links in their supply chain. He reported that Apple took corrective action to deal with ethics accusations at its Chinese manufacturing partners and suggested that more companies may soon have to do the same.
One thing customers may want in supply chains is environmental awareness. According to a Wharton School report on green supply chain progress, this is a delicate balance. While buyers do want products they purchase to be built with green principles, they are leery about paying more.