How To Be Sustainable In Your Business

How To Be Sustainable In Your Business

Justin Goldston

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey

Podcast for Entrepreneurs


How To Be Sustainable In Your Business

Sustainability is no longer as nice to deal with. It's a transforming industry. People are making their buying decisions based on those practices and it leads to a competitive advantage.


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The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

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the sustainability is no longer a nice to do with semester it's transformed it's transforming your industry and and or and people are making their buying decisions based on those practices and it leads to a competitive advantage [Music] hey everyone this is devon miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that has built several uh seven or startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the ceo and founder of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today on the we have another great expert episode and i'm excited to introduce justin goldste or goldstein and i was going to say goldstein and then i'm like wait a minute that's not right but goldstein and he is a what i'd say an expert on kind of sustainability and technology and now sustainability has a lot of different meanings that you know can mean different things to different people and we'll get into that a bit more um but you know it's going to be a fun episode where we can talk a little bit how to make a sustainable business model how to be you know uh integrate technology maybe bringing a little bit of you know other things on um with the you know how do you d or decrease bottlenecks and how to increase workflow and supply chain and demand and all sorts of fun stuff so with that welcome on to the podcast justin thanks for having me so i gave kind of an introduction as to what we're going to be talking about but maybe before we dive into that um give me just a little bit of an introduction you know let people know kind of why you're an authority or you know why you're what why you know what you know what you're talking about i am i am justin golson i am a professor of project and supply chain management at penn state university um we're here at outside of outside of the research in working with startups and entrepreneurs we also work closely with with organizations on a emphasis on the triple bottom line which is the emphasis or focus on the people planet and profit and how that can lead to a competitive advantage and how that can lead to increased profitability um tradition conventional thinking leads to okay if i have a lot of investments into health care for my employees if i give them unlimited time off and things like that you know that's going to have a negative impact on my bottom line but research has shown that that in the long term that that uh has a positive impact and those organizations that that have that approach beat their competitors year over year um so that's one thing that we focus on and that's one thing that we we demonstrate to to startups and entrepreneurs awesome no and i i think so now let's dive into it just because you already started giving intros to what you do but you know if i were to look at so sustainability you know at least in my mind it can mean different things to different people right in the sense that you know i can think of sustainability as hey recycle i can think every sustainability is go green and the green new deal with aoc and not get into politics by any beads or i can think of sustainability as more of how do i set my company up so that it will be sustainable or it will last for a long time right and they're all different ways of being sustainable one is more of a hey i'm going to have an environmental impact and others how do i make you know more people focus and how one is more on the business plan so how do you do how do you define sustainability or what do you think sustainability means means to you so i always always i ask professionals i asked entrepreneurs this i asked i asked students this i say no there are so the united nations created something they call the sustainability development goals there are 17 different sustainability development goals and i showed these sdgs to a number of people and i always say pick out your top two right so for example um some of them are no poverty no hunger uh health and well-being quality education gender equality clean water infrastructure and innovation reduced inequalities for example so whenever i go through that and i have that discussion everyone has everyone has different top twos i say that we all have to have tattoos because if we all have the same then there's going to be some of these development goals that are left out so for my example my top two are gonna be innovation and education because my reasoning is that if i can educate people if i can if i can do my research i can use technology i can use innovation to handle the other sdgs right so in my opinion i can handle all sdgs just by just by addressing two right so so and and that's i think that's very [Music] if those sdgs are my top two and and work with their workforce to say okay as a consensus what are our top two sustainability development goals and that's going to be that's going to be included within our mission our vision of our organization and if you focus on those sdgs you're going to make a positive impact on the world and you're going to again you're going to have you're going to have that as a competitive advantage because organizations have seen that it's increased it's increased their their public image by doing good right i mean if we look at the ikeas if you look at the unilevers if you look at the levi's sustainable and organization or users consumers essentially flock to those companies and as we as we progress one thing uh one thing i discussed on a number on the number of international conferences is that you know the the the power the buying power is shifting to the gen z it's shifting to the millennials and those gen z's and millennials they research the companies they buy from before they purchase from those companies they look to see okay where do they what are they doing for the communities what are they doing for the environment how are they giving back to the communities that have made them successful you know so so that's that's very important and another another important thing is that a lot of a lot of venture capitalists a lot of lenders are adding sustainability within their risk evaluations so now you you jump up almost or jump to that so my question would be or you know a question i could hear other people asking would be you know the the typical reason why people haven't gone necessarily to sustainability at least within you know environmental going green giving back those type of things is because it increases the cost to them and people aren't willing to pay for and that's always going to be the fear right it's now if i go and i go green then i'll have you know or i go sustainable and whatever that means to them but they're saying hey we incur an additional cost in order to be sustainable and now we have a competitor that swoops in and says okay i'm just not gonna go sustainable model and now i don't have that cost and now i can undercut you on the price and so how do you is it you know is it it's you know technology driven now you can compete so it's not more expensive and you do it via technology or is it more of people are willing to pay more and you just need to message it right or how do you kind of combat the the fear that this is going to cost me more and now i'm just going to compete and i'm going to sustain myself out of the market so to speak so so that's one thing that that's the one thing i get to a lot of a lot of leaders of or especially in small and medium enterprises because you've heard the term corporate social responsibility and and and small and medium organizations and and startups you know feel that you know they they hear csr they hear corporate social responsibilities so they think that okay only the big guys are doing this you know only big only the big guys can afford to be sustainable right now wait the the way in which i explain it is i say you've heard a lien right you've heard of six sigma correct i said if you implement lean in six sigma practices you're taking a step into being sustainable because you're producing waste you're reducing wasteful processes you're reducing waste from an inventory perspective so you're taking the first step also so you hit on technology i say that you've heard of going you've heard of cloud computing right correct i said that if you move your your processes to the cloud that's a step into a sustainable process because now you're using less energy and and so so you you and if you demonstrate to startups to leaders that they're already on that path on that track then i go back and say okay why did you implement lean processes why did you implement cloud computing within your organization to save money there you go you know so so that's that so so that's where that's where you can you can show that you know these sustainable processes leads to a positive impact a positive impact on the bottom line of your organization it leads to a positive impact on the on the planet you know it leads to it leads to it leads to greater well-being for your workforce because you're making those jobs you're making those employees jobs easier so you're hitting the triple bottom line just right there just by those two simple things that you that most companies are already doing right so so if you if you continue to have naysayers you know they're so technology technology is is the key is the key in that everything everything is on social media and if you are demonstrating that that you have a focus on on uh uh on the well-being of of your employees on the well-being of community of your community on the well-being of the planet then you're going to get greater buy-in from consumers now there have been a number and a number of studies that there was one study of a thousand of a thousand respondents that said that consumers would switch brains to an organization that has sustainable practices there was another study totally different study that said that 92 or it was 92 or 93 uh percent of the respondents said they were boycott a brain that was cited for unethical practices so so you you as a you as an entrepreneur you you as a startup organization you can say there's a risk by not uh implementing some of these sustainable practices now you don't have to you don't have to go green and have a have a a green factory that that that operates on on solar on solar energy but if you make if you're making those steps if you're able to demonstrate those steps so let's do let's dive into that just a bit so let's say i'm a startup right or small business and i'm just getting started i'm out you know been going for a year or two years so you know relatively new don't have a lot of money and i'm looking and saying you know okay you've sold me i want to be sustainable now how do i actually get going or how do i or start in on that you know what are some reasonable steps if you're a small business or startup that you can start thinking about as sustainability or as you're getting your company going that would be you know actionable steps that they could implement i would say i would say the easiest actionable step is is that link so first off you you would have to you would have to create a sustainability roadmap right and in my opinion now i would say that i would say that the first step in that is to create that lean strategy to create that lean thinking to create that lean environment within your organization and and that lean thinking within your organization that lean culture be focused on reducing wasteful activities it would be focused on reducing waste from an inventory perspective and and if you have a focus on it i am only going to provide value-added activities if it does not provide value to my client if it does not provide value to my workforce if it does not provide value to to the planet i'm not doing it right and if you have that mindset you're going to be you're going to be cut you're going to be cutting the fat out of the organization right so jack welch jack welch popularized i mean lean lean and and and the toyota production system and total quality management has been around for decades um it was it was it was uh uh created in in japan but jack welch brought it over to to the us and popularized it within ge you know any he kind of made it mainstream from a leadership perspective where where he kind of in a way moved it out of the manufacturing realm and made it to a to a mindset you know and again if you if you if you trot if you take it and you translate that you translate that mindset from the ceo of the century noted by many people right and you translate that mindset to you know sustainability then that's going to be the first step and i think that go ahead so i'm going to push a little bit so let's give if you're to give the top three actionable steps saying hey if any startup should think you know maybe not all three of these fit you but if you were to at least do one of these i'd get you on the path what would be those three steps step one is create that lean great that lean culture okay if you create that lean culture then all of those processes i just rambled about will probably will fall into place right you're going to be able to remove you're going to be able to remove that waste you're going to be able to going to be able to create those value-added activities from your organization okay the second one is cradling culture got it now what's my second step or what's my second actionable tip second step second step is to expand expand that lean thinking outside of your four walls so expand it out to your vendors expand it out to your customers because now because because that sustain of that sustainability that reduction of waste goes outside of your organization and that's where you're going to make that greater impact on the planet on communities okay so i've one is we've got the culture and i said okay now we've got a culture and two is we sent or take it out to what would be our um our vendors third one continuing transparent include transparency and continuous monitoring okay so transparency transparency means that i am publishing and i'm putting my lean processes and transparent to my customers and my vendors and i'm continuously monitoring it to say okay how can i make this better how can i make this better how can i make this better and i lay out those three steps because those three steps cost very little um right so so that's why i think that i think that those three steps are very important because it costs it costs very little and it does not take that long to implement so now i'm going to jump shift complete gears because one of the other things we talked about and it's one so and i mentioned on the podcast before so i i did i've got four degrees which my wife always says is three degrees too many but one of them i got was an mba degree and you know i thought it was interesting one of the classes you take was more on um you know workflows and how you identify the bottlenecks and you know those type of things so maybe for a couple minutes let's shift the conversation just a little bit and so now if we were to talk more about kind of supply chain and you know demand type of things if you're because one of the things i always you know if you're a startup you always have more things to do than time to do and even as a big business but especially the startup you always have more things and so you never really get into you're just running and trying to keep all the balls in the air and juggling and you never really focus on how do you actually make process more efficient or get rid of inefficiencies or bottlenecks or anything else because you're just trying to keep up so if you're to jump over to now kind of more of the supply chain type portion of it uh and you know and the and what would be how do you start to identify bottlenecks how do you start to figure out what is kind of that low-hanging fruit that allows you to be more efficient as a business so i think that so whenever i was i consulted with manufacturers and distributors for about 20 years and and whenever we whenever we go into an organization one of the first steps we would do is to create process maps and value stream maps so so those those those the process maps are essentially the steps so and and you do not create a process map for your entire organization right you create a process map for order to cash so the time the order gets placed to the time that that it gets picked to the time that you know it gets shipped out to the customer then you also include the invoicing process in some cases now some organizations will keep that that that accounting process and finance process separate um but you know it depends on the organization or you'll or you would do it from the time that you place that purchase order to the time that you receive that that material and put it away so so you have those work streams if you will that you map out and you do each one of those steps from a process map perspective now you take that additional step and you do a value stream map where you where you do a time spell you just say okay for this step it takes this long to do to perform this process right now between between step a to step b it takes this long right and then step b takes this long between step step b and step c it takes this long right so you map out all of those times and then you also would map out the percentage that that process is complete and accurate okay now if you were to if you were to map out all that once you mapped out a processor again order to cash you were going to see very quickly where your bottleneck is in seconds because it's going to say man it takes me an hour and a half to do that process the whole process only takes three hours and maybe then you get and you say maybe that hour and a half is that's the value that we drive into and it's everywhere we're always saying hey that takes an hour and a half and that really doesn't give any value to the product what can we do to adjust this i like that idea yeah so the value stream mapping is very very very important and another thing doesn't cost you anything it costs you cost you time and resources to map that out and that that provides insight to so much invaluable information because you're mapping out that current state and then you say oh man there's this bottleneck here right now you say okay how do i eliminate the bottleneck how do i reduce that time how do i reduce the number of errors in that process now you create a future statement of that same exact process map is is mapped out you change the process now you monitor it and now you're reducing waste now you're saving money and everybody wants to save money so now i'm going to go so we're we're reaching towards the end of the podcast but i want to say so if you're going to give two questions and we'll hit on number one you know we talked a little bit about technology and that almost kind of goes everything you could reduce bottlenecks via technology you can increase sustainability with via technology and a whole bunch of things but what would be the number one technology if you were to implement to say it would be helpful for startups or small businesses to look at or to implement any any any thoughts on a technology they should look at so i would say i would say that you have to you have to you have to assess your tech not your digital transformation maturity and the reason why i say that is that you'll have you'll have startups that are working off of off of excel you'll have startups that are working off of quickbooks you'll have startups that are that have some some type of of of uh lower level erp application right so so the first step is to assess the session what your what your digital transformation maturity is and to look at an enterprise application okay you're not going to be able you're not going to be able to survive with excel forever you're not going to be able to survive off of quickbooks forever i know a little bit about that i wrote a book on it so you're not going to be able to question you have to you have to you have to you know plan plan for growth um as a matter of fact for those entrepreneurs that are looking for to be acquired um i went and i went into startups i went into two smaller organizations that are implementing erp systems to be more appealing to investors to to to venture capitalists right so so erp figure out what your technology maturity level is and then identify kind of what's the next step in the maturity or how you can further evolve so last question i'm going to ask before we wrap up is if you're to say the one thing that people are taking if they take away nothing else if they only caught this 30 second clip of the podcast what would be the one thing that to think about as far as sustainability as far as um supply chain as far as delivery or anything else what would be the one takeaway you'd want them to take i would say sustainability is no longer a nice to do with semester it's transport it's transforming your industry and and or and people are making their buying decisions based on those practices and it leads to a competitive advantage all right hey i think that's that's great advice well as we wrap it up now people want to and you mentioned you've written a book i know you i think you've done a lot of different seminars and speakers and you've done you're all over the place and doing lots of stuff to promote uh sustainability people want to find out more about you they want to reach out to you they want to hire you as a speaker they want to hire you as a consultant they want to pick your brain they want to read your book they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to connect up with you hopefully i'll be above but the best way i can you can connect with me is going to be on linkedin i'm on linkedin often i share i try to share my knowledge as much as possible as many people as possible and linkedin is the platform which i've i've found uh the best way to do that so best way to reach me is on linkedin all right well i'll uh everybody certainly or check out and i think it's just uh linkedin and then it's just justin goldstein and you should be able to find justin and uh certainly connect up find out more about sustainability about how to make your company even a heads and tails above everybody else and how to get per prepare for the future and the present so thank you again for coming on justin it's been a pleasure it's been fun now for all of you that are listeners and that if you uh want to apply to be either you're an expert and want to share your knowledge or just want to come on and tell your story feel free to go to and always apply to be a guest on the podcast if you're a listener make sure to click subscribe so you can listen to or get a notification as all the new awesome episodes come out and lastly if you ever need help with patents and trademarks feel free to reach out to us at miller ip law thank you again justin appreciate coming on and sharing a little bit of knowledge all right thanks for opportunity hey if you enjoyed this episode of the inventive journey make sure to go and check out startups magazine they're an awesome magazine and podcast centered over in the uk and if the magazine is a digital and print magazine where they focus on tech startups and entrepreneurs and they also have a focus on female founders and women in tech so if you want to check out their magazine neither digital or print it's startups magazine startups with an s and you can also look up their podcast which is called the serial entrepreneur so go check them out they're awesome and definitely if you like this episode you'll like them English (auto-generated) All Sales Recently uploaded

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