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IT Procurement Can Go Greener 


With the state of the world's climate as it is - it's obvious that majority of consumers are demanding that companies go greener.

While the economics and practicalities of becoming a more sustainable organisation raise some uncomfortable questions and difficult challenges, there is no doubt that larger companies are rightly taking the issue seriously and looking at ways to reduce their impact on the environment. 

This filters all the way down to the supply chain. Both direct and indirect procurement are affected as companies evaluate the sustainability of their supply chains and the environmental standards/contributions of their suppliers. 

Procurement can play an important role by identifying suppliers who help evolve their green footprint.

So how does using Markit as your international IT hardware and accessory supplier contribute to your green goals? 

1. Local-to-Local Delivery in 33 Countries 

Markit’s IT purchasing solution allows you to centrally order products with local delivery direct from distributors. By receiving your goods directly from a local distributor, rather than a reseller or retailer, you are significantly cutting the distance that the product has travelled and the number of times it has been handled and re-stored. Buying locally wherever possible also reduces, or even eliminates, the need for cross border deliveries. 

Bottom line: The Markit model reduces the distance your products travel before they reach you and this therefore reduces the amount of CO2 emitted. As a side bonus, delivery times are cut too. Our average delivery time per order (across 33 countries where we have operations) is just 2.53 days (2019). 

2. Basket Optimisation 

Once you have selected the products you need from the Markit marketplace of 3 million unique SKUs you add them to your basket. At this point, a feature unique to Markit kicks in. You are presented with 3 options.  

  • The lowest cost. The selection is based on the best available prices of in-stock items where the both the price and availability are displayed in real time. 
  • The fastest delivery. In some cases, the best deal may come from a distributor that is further away than another who offers a fractionally higher price. By choosing the fastest delivery you may be reducing the distance your goods travel. 
  • Lowest number of shipments. With larger orders containing multiple product lines it’s often the case (when choosing the best price) that the deliveries will come from multiple sources which involves multiple shipments and more instances of goods received/shipment handling. By choosing the least number of shipments you reduce handling frequency and the number of deliveries, thus reducing CO2 emissions in the process. 

Bottom line: Of course, each order is unique and while we can’t guarantee every single faster, or reduced-shipment, order will definitely reduce CO2 emissions, it’s logical that in many cases that is exactly what happens. 

As an example, a Markit client in the UK wished to order a range of products and the lowest price involved being supplied from a mix of distributors in the UK, Germany and Holland. The total estimated delivery time was 14 days (to receive all goods) with 5 proposed shipments to complete the order. Using our basket optimisation feature (available on every order) the client saw that an increase of just 1% would reduce the number of shipments to just 1 and reduce the delivery time from 14 days to 2. Sometimes speed and/or reduced logistics handling are more important than price alone... 

3. Efficient Purchasing 

One of the most common positive feedback comments we receive from our thousands of clients worldwide is that Markit’s online IT purchasing system is a huge time-saver. Take Danfoss as an example – before using Markit they bought from 130 IT suppliers across 20+ countries. Forget about all the contract compliance and negotiation issues for a moment and just imagine the amount of time they save every day by consolidating all their IT device purchasing into just one supplier. A significant amount of manpower has been diverted from various IT purchasing and transactional management tasks to more strategic areas and other categories. By reducing the amount of man hours needed to handle your IT purchasing you not only save a considerable amount of money but also positively impact the environment by streamlining your procurement function, thus reducing the amount of people, processes and equipment needed to execute your IT procurement goals. Read the Danfoss Success Story

Bottom line: Markit makes IT purchasing more efficient, reducing both costs and environmental impact through lower headcount and streamlined processes. 

Of course more can be done to reduce climate damage by us, by our distributor partners, by vendors, by our clients and by all of us as consumers but we are pleased that we are positively seeking to contribute in our own small way to help our clients succeed in this important area, rather than being part of the problem.

On a final personal (author) note, going green is not, or should not be, a business differentiator. Going greener is something every company and individual should consider, so we should all (competitors, suppliers, allies and clients) do a little to move in the right direction – if not for our businesses, then at least for our children’s futures.

A lot of little contributions adds up.