Retailers have a diverse span of business to focus on and one such sensitive area is the food and beverages industry. This industry vertical apparently is always a step ahead in facing challenges as even a simple mistake could be disastrous when considering the health of consumers. The business owners, distributors and retailers have to be constantly on the run ensuring that their food product remains healthy, free from damage & spoilage till it reaches the hands of their consumer. The biggest question manufactures face here is the shelf-life of the food product they produce. To the maximum extent any food product may stay fresh from 3 to 6 days but extending its life after that will need addition of many other preservatives which may take a toll on the health of people. So how do you think this concern can be approached while keeping in mind the health and preferences of the consumers?
Supply chain management:
The first section which will need the attention of retailer will be the supply chain management system which includes the inventory control, warehousing, logistics and so on. It lies in the hands of this core department to appropriately deliver the goods on a timely basis to stores and slash down the chances of wastage and delay. For example, if the raw material to manufacture bread is stored in the inventory for more than 3 days, it goes into the drain. A proactive supply chain management which is thoroughly controlled by high-end technology can not only eliminate wastage but also help in extending the shelf-life of products to a great extent.
It has been estimated that 30% of the global products which are perishable do not reach its destination due to improper management of the supply chain.
Technology into supply chain management:
When technology is dovetailed with supply chain management, it gives an unparalleled experience both to the customers and the retailers alike.
- Incorporation of forecasting tools will contribute greatly towards understanding the market requirements and responding based on that. With analytical tools, retailers can ask for products based on demand, calculate percentage of loss and foresee market changes.
- There has to be a exceptional management strategy included in every supply chain which can effectively handle last minute changes to avoid delay and wastage.
- Global position tracking or GPS as it is called could be explored for effective monitoring and tracking of goods location. The speed of transportation can be increased if required through proper instructions in a timely manner to eliminate delays.
- An effective inventory management which appropriately calculates the amount of raw material required is also essential to maintain a safety stock level while slashing down wastage.
Process changes which could be bought by retailers:
- Every process should be clearly defined with key performance indicators with the goal of maintaining freshness and quality of perishable products in mind.
- Processes should be monitored by a centralized body supported by automated systems for timely updates and to avoid the risk of manual errors.
- Speed is the priority in transporting perishable products; a central body should govern this aspect of the supply chain system too.
The delivery of perishable products should be planned in such a way that they are manufactured in the day and delivered by night for the consumers to take away the next morning. This velocity of a supply chain will contribute towards a highly performing business for perishable products.