The Importance of Virtual Supplier Onboarding During COVID-19
In the midst of COVID-19, organizations within the food industry have been forced to pivot quickly in a variety of areas, and supplier partnerships have been no exception. The global pandemic has caused a wide range of impact, from a heightened number of force majeure letters and furloughs on one end of the spectrum, to overwhelmed, overworked suppliers lacking capacity on the other.
As a result, it has become imperative for food companies to be able to swiftly reassess and reevaluate their current supplier partnerships, as well as to identify and expedite the onboarding process for new, emergency supplier additions. This is especially true for retail grocery and consumer packaged goods (CPG) organizations, which have had to act quickly to keep up with consumer demand, prevent shortages and source redirected inventory.
A recent McKinsey report detailed that, during the first three weeks of March 2020, spending by channel decreased in quick service restaurants by more than 30 percent, increased among brick and mortar grocery stores by 50 percent and increased in online grocery by 17 percent. In addition, in Western markets, food-service closures have resulted in a 10 to 20 percent increase in grocery. And with these changes in spending, demand and inventory have inevitably come changes in suppliers.
During this time, FoodLogiQ customers are using FoodLogiQ Connect to rapidly adjust, putting supply chain crisis management onboarding programs into place as they locate and add new suppliers as quickly as possible to keep up with demand. They have been able to virtually onboard new suppliers in remote locations, distributing key documentation on protocols and standard operating procedures, as well as sharing the latest documents and guidance from the CDC, EPA and WHO.
At the same time, FoodLogiQ customers have quickly and efficiently gathered critical information, including certifications, statements, declarations and product specifications, as well as monitored suppliers’ progress along the way. For example, Whole Foods Market has had recent success in using FoodLogiQ Connect to streamline virtual onboarding and execute heightened sanitization measures during COVID-19.
In the absence of on-site audits, the ability to virtually collect required documentation, distribute onboarding tasks, and swiftly review supplier actions is vital to getting new partners on board - and to keeping shelves stocked. In addition, the ability to assign corrective action on those items needing additional attention is critical to ensuring new suppliers are up and running as quickly as possible, even from afar.
Stay tuned to the FoodLogiQ blog for more on our series on how FoodLogiQ customers are minimizing risk during COVID-19, and watch our recent on-demand webinar to learn more about how our customers are navigating the current crisis. For more information on how FoodLogiQ can work with and support you during this time, reach out to our team.