Disruptive innovation could drive social value in supply chain

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Disruptive innovation could put social value at the heart of the supply chain, according Rod Horrocks, an expert from the University of Gloucestershire.

Horrocks, project manager for the university’s The Growth Hub, said many supply chains are ripe for ‘disruptive innovation’ that delivers social value. Horrocks cites Gloucestershire-based Commercial Foundation’s activity in the print sector as a good example.

Commercial Foundation is a social enterprise set up by business services specialist Commercial. It empowers disadvantaged young people to change their lives through development of personal and professional skills.

“Commercial Foundation has zoned in on an established element of the supply chain and elevated it to an entirely new level,” Horrocks explains. “We Do. Print provides an ideal environment to boost the employability of people that have experienced tough times and found themselves caught in a negative cycle. It also enables businesses to boost their social value credentials simply by adapting their procurement habits.

“The UK print industry is worth £13.5bn. Imagine how society would benefit if just ten per cent of this could be met via social enterprises. There is a rising tide of businesses large and small that want to make a tangible, positive impact through day-to-day activities. We need more social enterprises like Commercial Foundation to challenge the status quo and unlock new opportunities for business to become synonymous with social value.”

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