In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements in Course
In business operations, the supply chain refers to a company’s networks with other businesses or entities. The relationship between a business and other businesses or entities within the supply chain enable the former to facilitate operations and deliver products or services to end users (Lambert 2008, p. 164). Consequently, the relationship between a business and other businesses or entities follow a sequence or order in the supply chain that begins during the procurement and production of goods or products and services until their distribution and consumption by end users (Oliveira & Gimeno 2014, p. 149). Hence, the supply chain is one of the factors that define the performance and efficiency of business operations because each sequence in the chain determines the outcomes of production and experience of end users (Song & Yao 2002, p. 4; Taylor & Brunt 2001, p. 115).
Considering the function and impact of the supply chain on business processes and operations, a supply chain that reflects operations in the fishing industry will be assessed. Figure 1 below illustrates the supply chain that would be assessed and improved in the discussion.
Figure 1. Supply Chain within the Fishing Industry
The purpose of assessment would be to arrive at solutions and recommendations to improve the said supply chain. Recommendations for improvement must focus on two objectives: (a) meet the operational objectives for efficiency and long term success, and (b) incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental sustainability in the business’ supply chain. Apart from looking to improve the supply chain, the discussion would also be framed within the context of a specific fishing industry. To narrow down the scope of the discussion, the following assessment will incorporate the supply chain of the fishing industry in Wales.
Considering the supply chain illustrated in Figure 1, aspects of the chain that necessitates improvements or change include the planning phase, capture and production, and preparation of value added products, particularly the packaging of sea life produce. Operations during the planning phase may be improved through the creation of rules or regulations in the volume of capture as well as the tools or mechanisms that would be used to capture sea life. In Figure 1, the main objective of planning capture is to maximize volume and to use management and technology in doing so. The problem with this process, however, is that maximizing volume of capture fails to consider issues including preservation of sea life. The goal of maximizing capture could easily lead to overfishing, which would then lead to imbalance in marine ecology and the eventual extinction of marine species as a result (Failler & Pan 2007, p. 110; Hilborn 2012, p. 120).
Operations during the capture and production may be improved through the use of appropriate fishing practices and technologies. Many fishing industries use technology to make capture more efficient. Nonetheless, some technologies used in the fishing industry, particularly in industrial fishing, harm the marine ecosystem due to the invasive process or due to the use of fuel in using these technologies to capture sea life (Lam 2012, p. 18; Suuronen et al. 2012, p. 135). The use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), for instance, put fish species’ health at risk (Dagorn, Holland, Restrepo & Moreno 2012, p. 391). Furthermore, using sophisticated technology in fishing may also increase the cost of operations, and therefore, the cost of goods. This would be a barrier in the ability of other industry to compete especially when other businesses offer similar products at affordable costs. In addition, depending on the size, fishing vessels could also disrupt marine ecosystems. Considering these issues, improvements or change in the second stage – capturing and production – of the supply chain must focus on the adoption of environmentally sustainable fishing practices and technologies not only to maintain sustainability but also to help the fishing industry reduce the cost of operations towards cost efficiency.
Operations during the preparation of value added products may be improved through the use of eco-friendly materials when processing and packaging seafood goods. One of the main issues when it comes to preparation of products in the supply chain is the cost and the effect or impact of materials on the environment. Using plastic materials in packaging, for instance, is unsustainable while some materials are expensive and would increase operating cost. Hence, the main point of improving this stage in the supply chain is to remain sustainable and to reduce or manage cost of preparation, particularly when it comes to packaging (Martin, Carter, Flick & Davis 2000, p. 450).
Compared to the supply chain of the fishing industry in Wales, the supply chain in Figure 1 lacks necessary practices to integrate CSR or environmental sustainability and make processes throughout the chain more efficient in the long run. In Wales, the fishing industry actively integrates CSR in fishing, production, and distribution practices (Seafish 2015). In Wales, the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association has set policies to regulate the size of fishing vessels used as well as the tools or mechanisms used in fishing, as well as the volume of capture (Common Fisheries Policy Task and Finish Group n.d.). In addition, Welsh fishermen work with the academic community to further improve operations. The fishing industry in Wales consults the academic community for fishermen to understand the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem and to learn new practices and to use new tools to fish sustainably. The fishing industry also makes sure that fishermen are aware of their roles and responsibilities (Evans n.d.).
For the fishing industry to meet the operational objectives for efficiency and long term success, it should set rules and regulations on the volume of capture and processes or practices applied during fishing. To improve the process of planning in the supply chain, the fishing industry should implement policies that would regulate the volume of capture. The main goal of the fishing industry, instead of maximizing capture, must be to capture sea life moderately to maintain balance in the marine ecosystem. To accomplish this objective, setting regulations in the volume or capacity as well as punishment for violators is an important step. Furthermore, increasing efficiency means using efficient technologies as well as packaging materials, while considering the cost. Focusing on adopting cost-efficient practices in acquiring technologies and packaging materials would contribute to the fishing industry’s long term efficiency as it would help it gain revenue to sustain operations.
For the fishing industry to integrate CSR and environmental sustainability in operations, the plan must also specify rules or regulations in the type of technologies and the ways that technologies will be used to capture sea life. Environmentally sustainable fishing practices include the use of medium-sized fishing vessels, and the use of fuel efficient vessels are recommended. Many alternatives for packaging are also sustainable such as films that absorb moisture, could be recycled, and are biodegradable. These films also help reduce the business’ waste as fishery industry waste would be used to create this material (Leceta et al. 2015, p. 36). Other alternatives include the use of recyclable and biodegradable materials such as cardboard to package seafood (Navaranjan et al. 2013, p. 395). To improve the preparation of value added goods, the fishing industry should consider using these types of materials.
The limitations of working towards CSR objectives, however, include the impact of regulations on the volume of supply available for consumers as well as the cost of adopting new management practices or shifting to new practices and technologies to remain sustainable. The potential cost of doing so could prove detrimental to the fishing industry’s revenue. Considering the limitations of working towards CSR, the fishing industry may adopt a few strategies to balance supply chain management operations with that of the need to remain environmental sustainable and focus on CSR. To achieve this balance, the fishing industry should make a list of its practices and technologies used, as well as cost of operations. Choosing alternatives that would target its objectives for improvement such as using both eco-friendly and affordable packaging materials or adopting sustainable fishing practices that would regulate volume are recommended.
The foregoing discussion illustrates the assessment of the supply chain and proposed recommendations to improve operations considering the supply chain of the fishing industry in Wales. To improve planning, regulations must be set on the volume of capture instead of focusing on maximizing volume. To improve capture and production, environmentally sustainable practices and technologies or tools should be adopted. To improve preparation of goods, eco-friendly and affordable packaging materials must be used. Overall, these practices are expected to contribute to the fishing industry’s CSR while also increasing long term efficiency due to lowered cost of operations and regulatory practices that ensure long-term supply for the industry.
Common Fisheries Policy Task and Finish Group. n.d., Consultation on Common Fisheries. Available at: http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/documents/s3509/Consultation%20response%20CFP%203%20-%20The%20New%20Under%20Ten%20Fishermans%20Association.html?CT=2
[Accessed: 21 Jul 2015].
Dagorn, Laurent, Holland, Kim N., Restrepo, Victor & Moreno, Gala. 2012, Is it good or bad to fish with FADs? What are the real impacts of the use of drifting FADs on pelagic marine ecosystems? Fish and Fisheries, 14:3, 391-415.
Evans, Jim. n.d. Sustainable Fisheries for Wales Project. Available at: http://fisheries-conservation.bangor.ac.uk/wales/index.php.en
[Accessed: 21 Jul 2015].
Failler, Pierre & Pan, Haoran. 2007, Global value, full value and societal costs: Capturing the true cost of destroying marine ecosystems. Social Science Information, 46:1, 109-134.
Hilborn, Ray. 2012, Overfishing: What everyone needs to know. Oxford, MA: Oxford University Press.
Lam, Mimi E. 2012. Of fish and fishermen: Shifting societal baselines to reduce environmental harm in fisheries. Ecology and Society, 17:4.
Lambert, Douglas M. 2008, Supply chain management: processes, partnerships performance. Supply Chain Management Institution.
Leceta, Itsaso, Uranga, Jone, Arana, Pilar, Cabezudo, Sara, de la Caba, Koro, & Guerrero, Pedro. 2015, Valorisation of fishery industry wastes to manufacture sustainable packaging films: Modelling moisture-sorption behaviour. Journal of Cleaner Production, 91:15, 36-42.
Martin, Roy E., Carter, Emily Paine, Flick, George J. Jr. & Davis, Lynn M. 2000, Marine and freshwater products handbook. New York, NY: CRC Press.
Navaranjan, Namasivayam, Fletcher, Graham C, Summers, Graeme, Parr, Robin, & Anderson, Ross. 2013, Thermal insulation requirements and new cardboard packaging for chilled seafood exports. Journal of Food Engineering, 119:3, 395-403.
Oliveira, Alexandre & Gimeno, Anne. 2014, Supply chain management strategy: Using SCM to create greater corporate efficiency and profits. New York, NY: FT Press.
Seafish. 2015, Seafish Wales. Available at: http://www.seafish.org/industry-support/regional-teams/seafish-wales
[Accessed 21 Jul 2015].
Song, Jing-Sheng & Yao, David D. 2002, Supply chain structures: Coordination, information and optimization. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Suuronen, Petri, Chopin, Francish, Glass, Christopher, Lokkeborg, Svein, Matsushita, Yoshiki, Queirolo, Dante & Rihan, Dominic. 2012. Low impact and fuel efficient fishing – looking beyond the horizon. Fisheries Research, 119-120, 135-146.
Taylor, David H. & Brunt, David. 2001, Manufacturing operations and supply chain management: The lean approach. Florence, KY: Cengage Learning EMEA.