2020 witnessed over 74% of Australian SMEs suffer from the Pandemic – economies slowed with lockdowns impended, companies were left back to the drawing boards of how to do business. It unearthed various flaws in the resource management and supply chains, indicated by the shortages and bottlenecks in health care supplies felt in some countries as their demand was heightened. It saw an obvious need for businesses to rethink their operations in the midst of a crisis.
Adding to the alarms, 67 million tonnes of waste was currently being produced yearly in Australia. With one-third of this being contributed by commercial waste, it further pushes for an urgent need for Australian businesses to think about waste as part of their ‘Operation Rethink’ process. Businesses could begin discovering the value of waste to hold as much value as a ‘resource’ – shifting perceptions of supply chains. Such concepts can, in turn build them to become more resilient and future-proof of any incoming crisis.
But how does ASPIRE come into play here?
ASPIRE was built on the concept of the Circular Economy – that is, thinking of new systems to strengthen the industrial economy and growth. The platform creates opportunities for businesses to move forward on their ‘Road to Resilient Recovery’ in various ways.
- Economic boosts by generating new revenue streams
By using the ASPIRE marketplace, businesses can register their excess waste and by-products for sale which would have otherwise ended up into landfill and thus generate new revenue streams. Besides the added income, companies can also save huge amounts of costs involved in procuring virgin resources for manufacturing products and substitute them with existing materials in the form of waste from other businesses, as these could be cheaper and more feasible.
During the pandemic, hundreds of Australian businesses have suffered financial stresses and have had to cut down on costs as well as labour. In this manner, adopting and applying such circular strategies through the ASPIRE platform will help businesses in their economic recovery and give them a chance to build back better.
- Strengthening local supply chains
Ever since this pandemic has taken shape, governments have started taking on initiatives of becoming ‘self-reliant’. While this does imply supporting, buying and producing local goods, the idea should not stray away from the aspect of trying to keep those materials in loop within the communities and so the nation.
ASPIRE’s CEO, Cameron McKenzie says ASPIRE is fundamentally about creating local supply chains, “When looking at waste and the circular economy, it has to be a local solution. When you transact on the ASPIRE platform, it recommends that you work with those businesses closest to you. There was one business on the platform that was importing a lot of stuff from an Asian country and there were always delays. But through ASPIRE they found the material they needed pretty much across the road and they only had to put a few hours in to get it. So essentially, they got the supply chain for free. It ticks all the boxes – localised solution, profitable, saves time and stress and there’s less of a carbon footprint.”
- Exploring and maintaining new partnerships in the community
Through the innovative match-making algorithm on ASPIRE’s platform, interested buyers can connect with partners which they did not know existed. One thing that has become evident over the last year is the importance of reliable and long-lasting partnerships for businesses to get through any crisis. These relationships with suppliers, local communities, shareholders and customers can be facilitated and strengthened through circular, symbiotic and regenerative strategies that ASPIRE aims to provide businesses with.