Delta Global, packaging provider for numerous luxury retail brands in the fashion and beauty sectors, has launched a new, data-driven intelligence system to enable greater transparency and control in supply chains.
Delta Global Intelligence has been designed with the view that ‘going green’ starts upstream. But with outdated tracking and communications systems, many businesses are failing to streamline their processes in order to create a truly sustainable supply chain and ultimately, end product or service.
Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, explains how the company’s new digital intelligence platform is set to transform the industry by providing retailers with data and insights to make better informed decisions regarding supply, procurement and logistics in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs and minimise waste in their chains.
Combating packaging waste
Packaging is perhaps one of the more overlooked elements of a supply chain, but the waste created by it is one of the biggest hindrances to its sustainability. Tackling secondary packaging waste will require willingness and commitment to change from both suppliers and consumers, but a good starting point is identifying points in the chain that are creating waste.
Not only will greater transparency in supply chains unveil this, it will also allow you to find opportunities to reduce it, by identifying stages that can be removed or combined for example.
Typically, focus has been on the packaging at the end of a supply chain, for which responsibility then falls on the consumer. They are tasked with finding ways to recycle or reuse the unwanted materials, but this is where the industry needs to change.
Instead, brands should use insight to firstly, reduce packaging waste passed onto consumers and secondly, revisit packaging designs to create something that can be reused or repurposed by the end customer.
Creating a circular economy
Ultimately, efforts should work towards creating a circular economy and reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.
In the fashion industry in particular, some of the biggest obstacles of this are the result of poor supply chain management. For instance, issues such as overstocking can create wasted stock, which retailers can try to sell discounted and risk devaluing their brand or throw away and let them end up in landfill.
Either case is damaging to the brand, whether reputationally or financially, so there is clear motive to find a more efficient way to manage supply and demand. This is where brands need to start utilising data and insights from the supply chain to track trends and patterns, which in turn, can inform decisions on order quantities.
Many will have learnt this lesson the hard way in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers have found themselves with huge amounts of deadstock and although shops are reopening, items are out of season and no longer satisfy adjusted consumer requirements.
And whilst retailers attempt to rectify losses, for instance with Harrods opening its very first outlet store, it begs the question of what changes are needed in the industry to avoid similar events in the future?
If supply chains are empowered by digital intelligence, real-time data and insights on consumer buying habits and seasonal trends. this can help brands make more mindful decisions about the amount of stock they need at any specific time. And with insight into shifting delivery patterns and having streamlined the overall process, orders can be received quickly and efficiently, rather than having warehouses full to the brim with items or packaging materials that may not be required.
Automation and AI can even be integrated for easy restocking. Brands reap the benefits of reduced manual labour costs and resources, which can be reinvested elsewhere, for instance in innovation and design.
Put simply, a model that is data-driven and promotes circularity is the way forward.
It’s time for reform. Many brands are simply putting out something which in its essence looks sustainable, but the reality is far from it.
Until brands are willing to address the lack of transparency and consideration upstream in their supply chain, efforts will be wasted. The Delta Global Intelligence solution has been built to provide a full view of the supply chain, from design right through to delivery, allowing brands to mitigate risks, track trends and identify opportunities to save costs and reduce waste.
Ultimately, sustainability starts with the supply chain so in order to create a truly green business model, and to fulfil any responsibilities to combat the effects of climate change, brands need to manage their whole end-to-end process in a fully sustainable way.