The world is “going green”. This will mean changes for distribution and manufacturing companies as government and local regulations become more stringent and consumers start to insist on “green” products and “green practices” in the companies that produce them.
CFO’s will have to become concerned with “the Triple Bottom Line” – financial, social and environmental performance. The right ERP (accounting software) and supply chain management software to help you track environmental issues.
Right now it may be an option but soon it will be a necessity. According to a NY Times article (At Wal-Mart, Labeling to Reflect Green Intent) Wal-Mart is starting a program that will be a universal rating system that scores products based on how environmentally friendly and socially sustainable they are. Like the green equivalent of a nutrition label. This means that suppliers will have to start tracking more and more environmental factors. (like how much water was used to create it, air pollution produced etc…). Wal-Mart says that suppliers that don’t participate won’t be penalized, but warned that they are less relevant to Wal-Mart. (which sounds like a pretty strong warning to me). And history has proven that when Wal-Mart starts a trend – others follow.
So where will you track this information? In your ERP and Supply Chain software system.
ERP vendors like Microsoft are in the early stages of adding energy conservation and green focused functionality to their products. Microsoft now offers a free add-on “environmental dashboard” for one of its ERP products that serves large corporations. But soon, midmarket companies will also need this functionality.
You can work with a Microsoft Dynamics GP partner to customize your accounting software system to add energy and environmental monitoring features. For example, a recent Ovum report suggests that you add fields to GP for “energy sources, amounts consumed and unit costs, so you can monitor the results of new building operations policies (such as lighting use and temperature) or changes in your electric power mix (such as substituting wind or hydroelectric power for coal or oil based power). Adding “green” functionality to your ERP system could automate the creation, collection and analysis of relevant data, apply measures to reduce energy consumption and carbon emission, monitor the effectiveness of these measures, issue alerts when relevant parameters exceed tolerances in some cases, take corrective action.” (Ovum Report: Green Software: The Partner Opportunity January 2009)
Basically, you can work with a partner like CAL Business Solutions to customize Microsoft Dynamics GP to help you reach your goal of “going green”. Remember, conservation is good for both the environment and the bottom line.