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How to Optimize Your Food Supply Chain Management

When you’re sitting at the dinner table tucking into a delicious meal, have you ever thought about where this tasty grub actually comes from? There are many steps involved within the food supply chain. Many of these can be unsafe and very unappetizing!

Any businesses that bring food to consumers must follow strict protocols. From organizing deliveries to arranging a supplier, these are key parts of the supply chain process. Robust supply chain management makes sure food products arrive on time at the right destination. If you work within the food sector, here are some ways on how you can optimize the food supply chain more effectively.

Carefully Choose Suppliers

Unless your business has its own local supply, you’ll need to work with suppliers who you trust. Key components of this include sanitation, record keeping processes, and food safety criteria. After establishing a relationship with a supplier, the evaluation process must carry on. There must be periodic internal audits. Should your supplier begin hiring subcontractors, they must be examined under the same scrutiny.

Improve Visibility and Transparency

Two key components of your food supply chain management are visibility and transparency. In order to achieve both, you must implement a TMS (transportation management system) and WMS (warehouse management system). Both tools can help you enhance your labor planning and warehouse operations and assist with cold-chain compliance, by recording the humidity and temperature of items as they move along the route. To eliminate operator errors, using this automatic case packing solution is the answer. You can use the gravity case packer once your products have been packaged and are ready to go into the shipping container.

Know Your Budget

Whether you’re managing your supply chain yourself or working with a third-party logistics business, one major thing that impacts your bottom line is your budget. This will be an ongoing concern, so you need to understand your budget inside out. While some solutions and programs may cost money, it’s crucial to identify the impact of implementing them or not using them at all. It’s wise to stick with a 3PL company as they use the correct food supply chain management systems already, which can only be a good thing for growing your business.

Concentrate On Inventory Management

In the past, you would have to use a spreadsheet or scratchpad to handle inventory. Thanks to technology, you can make use of digitalization and automation. Both of which are the foundations of a successful and efficient food supply chain. There is too much at risk with food products not to prioritize inventory management. If you have a food warehouse, employees can use mobile computing devices to improve the productivity and accuracy of operations. This creates a more cost-effective and efficient process.

Boost Sourcing and Forecasting

There were a multitude of issues within the food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of which was relying on a single source for procurement. However, when a problem arose and the source couldn’t come through, this created a ripple effect across the supply chain, causing consumers to lose their temper, not to mention business reputations being tarnished. Now with life slowly returning to normal, it makes sense to manage this risk by using a multi-source strategy. Even if you have to pay out more, opting for local sourcing provides more flexibility, especially if there are surges in demand for products.

Because of the pandemic, consumers are becoming more concerned and aware of the food supply chain, especially when it comes to outbreaks of disease caused by contaminated food. To optimize your food supply chain management, following the advice above will ensure you maintain an excellent customer reputation, and going forward, retain a successful business.

Written by Marcus Richards

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