How supply chain visibility helps restaurants improve their business

Photograph: Shutterstock

So far, 2020 has been a roller coaster ride for most foodservice providers. Now, as restaurants across the country start to reopen and operate with new operational characteristics, these changes will ultimately become the “new normal.” And no matter how much changes, restaurant concepts will continue to face increasing pressure to effectively manage their supply chains during this unprecedented level of disruption.  

The good news, however, is that times of change offer the opportunity to evolve and improve. Below are some common ways foodservice providers and restaurants can improve their business—even when up against the effects of a global pandemic.

Outsourcing can help focus on new service elements

In the past, outsourcing supply chain management may have been viewed as adverse. Unlike some commonly held beliefs, outsourcing provides more visibility, not less. With increasingly connected and expert-level companies offering these services, outsourcing offers the ability for decision makers to have the real-time supply chain visibility they need to make impactful changes. By implementing these outsource services, leaders can ensure their restaurants’ valuable resources are focused on revenue generating activities.  

Inventory management, purchase order (PO) processing and other supply chain tasks can take away from a store manager’s precious time. Often, these responsibilities require corrective activities like claims and reconciliation. To give store managers their time back, consider bringing in an outside logistics provider.

Look for a logistics provider with experience in the industry, one that can provide detail into the landed cost of goods. These companies can offer technology and tools specially adapted for foodservice that practically eliminate PO errors. 

Supply chain visibility is key to manage costs and identify solutions

While it has always been important, visibility is now an essential element of successful supply chains. Insight to shipment status is only one aspect of true supply chain visibility. Complex supply chains often combine costs, which can impede clear understanding when changes to costs do occur. The result is an inability to properly manage expenses during this time of reopening. 

The best industry PO technologies separate all cost components, including transportation and logistics services, offering a clear view of changes while also automatically aligning payments to established contracts. By knowing exactly where a shipment is in the process and how costs break down, it’s possible to accurately track supplier and distributor performance over time. Only with this information can faster, meaningful improvements be achieved.

The foodservice industry needs connected supply chains

Simply managing the supply chain isn’t enough in today’s market. As the foodservice industry continues to evolve for the future, it’s critical that the supply chain is viewed as a road map. Plan for various routes and stopping points that all ensure the ability to flex with today’s significant shifts in direction.

Continuous improvement and ongoing supply chain optimization strategies will continue to differentiate acceptable foodservice companies from superior ones. Read more at www.chrobinson.com/en-us/Logistics/Additional-Services/perishable-supply-chain-solutions/mps-meeting.

This post is sponsored by CH Robinson


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