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Inventory Control and Green Manufacturing

“Going green” has become a common marketable phrase across the globe. However “going green” has far greater advantages than just being a catchy marketing slogan, especially in the industrial manufacturing world. The goal of green manufacturing is to manufacture products in the most efficient way, while not compromising the environment in a negative manner. By reducing energy use and waste production a company can greatly decrease their impact on the environment all while continuing to provide high quality products for their customers.

Manufacturing has long been one of the biggest consumers of energy in the United States with about 25% of all energy use being consumed by the manufacturing industry. There are a variety of ways a company can reduce their individual impact on the environment by implementing different sustainable practices into their everyday processes. One of these changes lies in the way inventory is handled within a company. Many manufacturing companies operate on the practice that more is better when it comes to inventory; companies want to have a surplus in inventory in order to provide for their potential customers as quickly as possible.

However, many times this results in over-ordering supplies and causes an unused surplus of materials that ends up as industrial waste over time. Not only is this a giant hit for the company financially, it is also an unnecessary strain on the environment. A majority of the time these materials are being produced at another facility, where energy is expended to both produce the material and transport it to the destination. By cutting back on inventory, a company will reduce their overall energy usage and decreasing warehouse space used for storing inventory.

Not only is inventory control a benefit to the company from an environmental standpoint but inventory control is crucial to running a successful manufacturing company. By keeping your warehouses organized you will find that employees are more efficient and the whole order process is sped up from picking to shipping. This allows you to complete more orders in a shorter amount of time, saving you money, increasing both sales and customer satisfaction due to quick turnaround times.

Obviously, perfect inventory control is not something that is easily attainable but just by observing and making small adjustments to ordering patterns can provide a great deal of improvement on your way to implementing a more green or sustainable manufacturing process.