OC Reilly Blog: Don’t Waste Your Waste

By Rick Chew, Business Analyst, OC Reilly Inc.


(Dec. 14, 2015)–Life gets messy sometimes. When you’re dealing with a large health care provider, like a hospital, that holds especially true.

Any kind of organization – from the largest heavy manufacturer to your own home – generates waste. We consume what’s needed to perform the main functions, and dispose of the rest.

But what if you could avoid simply disposing of all that waste? What if a more sustainable option could be found? That’s the subject of an article in the November 2015 edition of Supply Chain Management Review, which details how the global conglomerate Unilever achieved its worldwide goal of “zero waste to landfill” within five years.

“Sustainability isn’t just about reducing waste, but finding the right solution for that waste,” the article states. We at OC Reilly have found that applying innovative supply chain tools can be a meaningful part of achieving that worthy goal.

In our work with a major regional health care system, we have partnered to develop a number of unique analytical tools. One of those software applications enables hospitals within that system to identify and repurpose waste into useable resources elsewhere in the organization – a major factor in the Unilever success story, as well.

Another tool we created allows hospitals to keep a more accurate measure of inventory, ensuring that supplies never deplete, they get stored in the most effective manner, and subsequent levels of waste remain minimal.

Preserving the integrity of our physical world deserves our best effort. Besides being the morally right thing to do, it also makes tremendous business sense. By not only keeping the amount of waste as small as possible, but also finding alternative uses and reuses of those materials, organizations can save money while achieving greater sustainability.

Sure, life can get messy. But the application of new ideas in supply chain management can keep that messiness to a minimum.