industry in China in the area of: materials purchasing, fleet operations, environmentallyconscious manufacturing, energy use, field use, and product end-of-life managementprograms. Zhuet al. (2007a), using the Chinese automotive industry as an example, notethat two major reasons affecting environmental sustainability are environmental burdenand resource shortage. Madu (2004) also went further to discuss eight strategies forsustainable operations management: inverse manufacturing (closed-loop, end-of-product-life management), recycling, remanufacturing, reverse logistics (cradle to grave productmanagement),eco-labelling,ISO14000,lifecycleassessment,anddesignfortheenvironment.Launchingsustainableoperationsinitiativesacrossacomplexglobalsupply network is an ongoing challenge. Global enterprises of the twenty-first centurypriding themselves for the continuous efforts they are making to protect the environmentneedtofaceleadershipchallengesinglobalissuesandtheenvironment.Modernenterprises and their channel partners that fail to follow through may not be able tocompete in today’s environmentally conscious market.Reducing wastesFor supply chains not yet in a state of excellence, looking for waste avoidance orminimisation opportunities through reviews of waste generating processes is of paramountimportance during the globalisation era (Madu 2004, Carreira 2005, Agarwalet al. 2006,Kainuma and Tawara 2006, Brown and O’Rourke 2007, Anand and Kodali 2008, Kurkand Eagan 2008). Seven specific types of waste are discussed by Carreira (2005):(1) over-production,(2) transport,4462C. Kueiet al.
(3) over-processing,(4) waiting,(5) unnecessary movement of products/people,(6) ineffective inventory control, and(7) activity and energy resulting from rejected products and inefficient processes.To meet these waste avoidance or minimisation challenges, the organisation of concernmust review its current operations practices and undergo a transformation process. Kurkand Eagan (2008) suggest that extensive strategic/tactical evaluation processes must be inplace along the following product life-cycle stage: material selection, manufacturing, fielduse, transportation/packaging, and the end of product life. Madu (2004) identified fiveguiding principles for such a change.First, people are the main drivers of process performance. Second, the key to enterpriseintended performance is on processes. Third, leadership is essential. Fourth, there is noend in achieving continuous improvement. Finally, organisational performance must bemeasured and reported on a regular basis.Adequate attention thus needs to be paid to how the process works and how the energysource is being used in supply networks today. Generally, many of the wastes that areincurred can be found in, or traced back to, core business processes, supporting processes,supply chain processes, and strategic planning processes. They need to be managedeffectively. Along with this goes the belief that six sigma projects and concepts must be
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