The Benefits of Sustainable Inventory Management, from Inside Supply Chain Management.
As the trend in green building increases and regulations in the industry drive product choices, consumers are becoming more aware of the direct environmental and economic benefits of this emerging trend. This shift to green building means changes for inventory management, as the adoption of sustainable products could affect stocking decisions and budgets. Luckily, these progressive changes are helping to create a smooth transition for inventory managers.
As green building is gradually adopted across all building markets, the demand for sustainable products is growing larger each year. By 2017, the demand for green building materials is expected to rise to $86.6 billion. With investors interested in this larger scale market, suppliers will continue to bring more options to consumers, and with more ease than traditional products. Currently, there are delays for some traditional products from a logistical standpoint because the demand supersedes how fast they can be produced. For example, Ipe, a tropical hardwood found in South and Central America that is often used for outdoor projects, takes between 80 to 100 years to grow. These hardwoods must be ordered in even tallies and customers can only choose from specific order sets. In comparison, sustainable alternatives, such as modified pine, mature in just 30 years and take only three days to modify, resulting in only months’ worth of logistics. Customers have more flexibility when customizing these orders because composites are extruded and easier to mix and match.