Is corporate social responsibility just another way of saying "I gave at the office," allowing companies the ability to write off charitable donations in the name of burnishing their reputations? Is it possible that a manufacturer can actually do well by doing good?
Not only is it possible, but that concept forms one of the essential "operations rules" that serve as the framework for this book, written by David Simchi-Levi, an MIT professor and supply chain expert: Corporate social responsibility can create tangible business opportunities and value. The author offers several examples, such as Fonterra, Coca-Cola and Nestle, where companies were able to not only improve the environment while streamlining their supply chains, but also to create value for themselves.
The book also offers some ideas on how companies can cope with oil-price fluctuations, suggesting that a flexible manufacturing strategy can help reduce the increase in transportation costs. Economic uncertainty on a global scale, the author notes, requires a shift in thinking toward more regional supply chain activities.