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Technology

Foodservice supply chain success requires technology, service and transportation excellence

takeaway food
Photograph: Shutterstock

As restaurants start to open their dining rooms again, supply needs and inventory management overall will be challenging in this unpreceded environment. Managers and store operators will need to make supply decisions without historical inventory data or benchmarks. Misaligned purchase order decisions can lead to increased food waste due to over-ordering, as well as the inability to serve customers due to supply gaps.

Optimizing supply chains and employing additional service solutions can help mitigate these gaps or shortages. Technology, service, and smart logistics are the foundation of best in class supply chains.  

Using technology to better align supply and demand

Changing volume demands means connectivity is critically important. Legacy systems that utilize multiple platforms won’t cut it going forward. Successful inventory technology should connect seamlessly and be supported by expertise.

Connectivity and real-time data

Technology should be connected to all supply chain parties and their data. A single platform, providing real-time data is needed to effectively and accurately “see” the supply chain. Beyond processing purchase orders, the best technology will capture all transactional data and track changes over time.

Expert-driven technology

Any technology solution should be backed by experience. Data analysts, inventory experts and logistics professionals should be engaged to continuously drive upgrades and build algorithms to help determine supply chain trends. Even the most powerful technology is only a good as the people driving its evolution based on data and experience.

Expanding service networks to drive results

Understanding where major revenue generating locations are is the first step in aligning a supply chain network. Expanding supply and distribution options near higher volume locations will ensure faster delivery and easier inventory management.

Online retailers provide a great example of successful supply networks. In densely populated areas, online retailers engage a higher number of distribution and service center options, allowing them to keep inventories closer to demand geographies.

Smart logistics strategies

Changes in warehouse and inventory strategies naturally lead to changes in transportation. With inventory closer to final destinations, shipping needs will likely shift from long-haul to short-haul services. Different transportation lanes and delivery schedules need to be considered in short-haul situations.

This post is sponsored by CH Robinson

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