Indeed, Welch's is leveraging a business intelligence solution from Oco that, among other things, helps the company consolidate shipments: It helps to ensure that truckloads delivered by its carriers go out full. The idea is, customers are already paying for the full truck when it delivers goods, even if it's only halfway or three-quarters loaded. With the BI system, Welch's can tell if a buyer's shipment is coming up short of full capacity and help them figure out what else they can order to max it out, thus saving on future shipping costs.
Welch's approach borrows from another one of Brody and Ben-Hamida's suggestions: Coordinate with partners. The company is working collaboratively with carriers to report on actual delivery performance, such as whether a shipment arrived on time. This gives the company a means of quantifying carrier performance.
One other suggestion for a greener supply chain from Brody and Ben-Hamida: Shrink packaging. "New materials and designs allow companies to make packages smaller and lighter, allowing shipping containers to hold more and trucks to carry more products in a load. Improved package designs can also reduce the burden of recycling or eliminating packaging materials at the end of the chain."
On that note, HP recently came up with a clever approach to reducing the packaging of one of its notebooks, the Pavilion dv6929 (available only at Wal-Mart). Rather than cramming the system in a bulky cardboard box, it comes in a protective messenger bag made from 100 percent recycled materials. Not only does this approach reduce product packaging overall by 65 percent, according to HP, it will help the company save money on transporting systems "by removing the equivalent of one out of every four trucks previously needed to deliver" them.
You can read "12 Steps to a 'Greener' Supply Chain" on Environmental Leader's Web site.