Lessons Learned in Sustainability and Process Controls

business sustainability

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Kevin Schofield details why business leaders need to maximize communication within the company while focusing on strategic and sustainable sourcing to further educate team members on process controls and root cause analysis.

Merging the focal points of a diverse corporate system with the outside world's needs while managing a profitable business is always a challenge. Given the additional issues with value stream, inventory management, and transportation in the era of globalization during a worldwide pandemic make it even more challenging. Corporate leaders need to maximize communication within the company using new and different platforms while focusing on strategic and sustainable sourcing to further educate team members on process controls and root cause analysis.

Streamlining with Effective Communication

The first step in developing a more efficient and effective business is better managing people and communication. By clearly laying out responsibilities and dividing our individual and group tasks, we can more easily interweave those lines with other groups and branches. One of the issues in defining supply chain duties is developing a logical means of resupply and inventory management. Because each separate project has long been viewed as an “island” unto itself, the build-up and inventory waste that comes with it have grown.

If the supply chain team can be seen as a series of bridges between these islands or a fleet of ferries, companies will save millions in unnecessary waste. Using the techniques we discussed in the course, you can create a corporate system to increase teamwork and present ideas to management in ways that they will accept and benefit from.

Utilizing Root Cause Analysis

Process controls and root cause analysis are the next step in creating a more profitable business. As the supply chain integrates throughout the corporate structure, problems may arrive. Using the five whys of root cause analysis to prevent them from occurring again is the aim.

Suppose we can figure out what is disrupting the system. In that case, we can then retrain people at various corporate strata levels to better facilitate data and product flow and movement. Similarly, streamlining and disseminating the process control flow throughout the company will also enable the end goal to create a better and more vibrant culture.

Just as a workman climbing up a ladder, a building relies on evenly spaced steps to easily move up and down with the resources needed. Leaders must create that smooth system within our company. Using our metacognition and concentrating on where each step could best occur, we would create a ladder with evenly spaced rungs to help our corporate information flow.

The Importance of Sustainability

The last step in moving companies forward is to utilize different sourcing methods and platforms better. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword on social media platforms. It is a truly integral part of creating a world that our future generations will want to inherit.

For example, a natural gas company needs to use the best practices possible for the planet's sake and the bottom line. By becoming an industry leader in sustainable sourcing, a company can change the natural gas industry's narrative. This change is vital in a political climate that is fraught with ill-conceived but well-intentioned ideology such as the “green new deal”.

It is crucial that we don’t just “talk the talk”. We must also walk the walk if we are to establish ourselves as caring about the environment. Our corporate messaging to the public must educate them on all of the benefits natural gas offers. At the same time, building the knowledge of the steps being taken to manage the clean energy products we are offering safely, is critical.

Life is all about growth. Neither an individual nor a company should ever stop looking for ways to improve and better itself. By improving our communication, developing our process controls and root cause analysis, and increasing our sustainable sourcing, companies can become an industry leader for years to come.

The Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program is a 12-week course that focuses on the hard and soft skills of sourcing, including strategic sourcing and outsourcing methodologies, as well as best practices in negotiations.


Kevin Schofield, Manager of Supply Chain Management, ONEOK

Kevin Schofield is the Manager of Supply Chain Management & Materials at ONEOK.