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COVID-19

Friday Round-up (5/22/20): Transparency is Key When Managing Fluctuations in Demand


Every week FoodLogiQ will be aggregating the latest updates and resources for food businesses navigating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Learn how the industry is adapting to protect and feed consumers while building resilience in the face of global crisis.

Food companies and retailers are re-evaluating service hours as states begin to outline reopening phases. While risk mitigation procedures such as enhanced sanitization programs, implementation of protective barriers and employee PPE requirements are likely to remain unchanged, some businesses are looking at ways to continue streamlining operations and inventory management while managing rapidly shifting consumer behaviors. According to Nielsen and Rakuten Intelligence, U.S. online sales of consumer grocery packaged goods grew 56% for the week ending in April 18th, compared to the same period a year earlier.  And with so many moving pieces around new reopening rules, keeping agile is essential for satisfying requirements through dramatic swings in demand.

With fluctuations in buying patterns, businesses need to understand the status of their and viability sourcing programs, making it imperative for suppliers and retailers to work more closely together. Angela Fernandez, VP of community engagement at GS1 US, recently shared her insights on this topic with FoodSafetyTech, “Food companies can improve the way they work together if they focus on supply chain visibility and data quality. Visibility is key as suppliers are ramping up production on those mainstream products and trying to get them to the proper locations when retailers need them.” Fernandez explains the importance of following GS1 Standards for product identification (GTIN) and the advance shipping notices (ASN) so retailers know what product to expect and when. 

Food companies are also streamlining with fewer SKUs to simplify their supply chain and keep key products on-hand. Fernandez notes that this is made possible with transparent data, adding, “The second piece is the data quality aspect—making sure we have the right information around those core items that we are trying to keep stocked on the shelves for consumers who are purchasing those items today.” Standardization of data can help with reporting and enable consistency around essential product availability. Moving forward, some predict that supply chain simplification will continue to be a key aspect of sound planning practices.

As the world looks forwards towards a New Normal shaped by COVID-19, extrapolating longer-term buying patterns continues to be a challenge. Supply chain visibility and data integrity can make all the difference when responding to trends on a month-by-month, or even week-by-week, basis. Make sure your team has the right supply chain management systems in place for end-to-end transparency.

Resources

Please view FoodLogiQ's COVID-19 Food Industry Resource Center for industry-specific updates, resources and information.

If your business is in need of operational guidance for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, download our E-Book to learn how FoodLogiQ Customers are minimizing risks. And don’t miss our upcoming webinar on how to build stronger relationships with your supply chain partners; Register for the webinar, Strengthening Your Supplier Relationships in the New Normal.  

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Posted by Julie Brown on May 22, 2020 5:20:15 PM