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Mark Schissel

Supply Chain

A Transparent Supply Chain and Its Impact on People, Our Planet, and Our Businesses

Companies and consumers must work together to create a sustainable future

Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 13:03

Increasingly, consumers, investors, and other stakeholders are looking to companies big and small to do what’s right for people and our planet. To meet the demands of these stakeholders, transparency is key. In fact, an Innova Consumer Survey in 2020 revealed that six in 10 global consumers are interested in learning about where their food comes from and its impact, including on human and animal welfare, supply chain transparency, plant-powered nutrition, and sustainable sourcing.

The environmental and social governance (ESG) movement has given companies a platform, a common language, and key metrics to articulate their strategies and their progress, making it easier for stakeholders to make purchase and investment decisions. What’s really exciting is how this is fundamentally changing the way companies think about and operate throughout the supply chain. It is now incumbent on research and development, sourcing, manufacturing, planning, distribution, and other functions to consider factors that impact ESG in key investment decisions and day-to-day operations.

All this is driving increased innovation, attracting new talent with fresh ideas, and improving collaboration with our supply chain partners while reducing risk. It’s creating real, meaningful change in the way we think. But it’s not the typical mantra to “think outside the box.” It’s a completely different box, and there are different people in it. Is it any wonder this is an exciting time for operations?

The digital supply chain

To achieve transparency, it’s critical to build a digital supply chain and transform how business is done. That transformation must be authentic. There must be a bridge between people and ESG goals throughout the process. Moving to a completely digital supply chain creates a world where information can be shared in real time with people around the globe. It allows us to gather and bring together new sources of information, including video, market insights, point-of-sale data, customer data, machine data, and the internet of things (IoT).

For all of these reasons, we are now evolving our operations to be more digital at Herbalife Nutrition. It truly brings new meaning to what we call our “seed to feed” strategy—one where we work with farmers, vendors, distributors, customers, and others every step of the way as we develop and manufacture our products. As we implement new digital technology, we’ll be able to share the entire supply chain process for a specific product via a scannable code on our labels. That scan will lead to a site containing information about where a product ingredient came from, the science behind the product health claims, and all the ESG considerations that were made along the way. This is important because the same Innova survey mentioned above found that 64 percent of global consumers have found more ways to tailor their life and products to their individual style, beliefs, and needs.

Establishing trust

What better way is there to instill trust than through complete transparency? It keeps everyone along the supply chain honest and accountable, and reassures consumers of the product quality and environmental responsibility considerations made throughout the process. This is especially important when trust is at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Numerous studies show that consumers are making purchase decisions based on a brand’s commitment to doing what’s right, including an ethical supply chain, societal impact, and environmental sustainability. This is especially true in a post-pandemic world where people are reevaluating what’s important to them.

Business sense

Which means all of this is not only good for people and the planet, it’s also good for business. In addition to driving innovation, improving collaboration, and reducing risk, digital manufacturing provides each function with better insights into the complete life cycle of product development, manufacturing, and distribution. This results in efficiencies and cost savings along the way. It also provides better insights into the customer’s buying habits, helping companies create better customer experiences and predict future needs.

The welcome challenge to do better

For many companies, this is a new way of doing business. It’s going to require the cooperation and commitment of everyone involved. But it’s also going to bring about a welcome challenge to do better every day. It requires all of us to work together—companies and consumers—to reinforce our expectations for taking care of people and our planet for a more sustainable future.

Discuss

About The Author

Mark Schissel’s picture

Mark Schissel

Mark Schissel is Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Herbalife Nutrition. His responsibilities include overseeing worldwide operations, global business services, the regional finance and operations functions, information technology and infrastructure, cybersecurity, and global security.

Prior to this position, he served as executive vice president of worldwide operations and oversaw all aspects of developing products and bringing them to market, including supply chain, R&D, scientific affairs, quality, manufacturing, distribution, and logistics.

Schissel has more than 20 years of financial management and IT leadership experience with industry-leading companies such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Value Health Inc., Oracle Corp., and EMC Corp. Prior to joining Herbalife Nutrition, he served as director of information technology at EMC Corp., responsible for global enterprise applications.