Using the Power of Traceability to Address Inventory Disruption
Since the onset of COVID-19, the supply chain has been characterized by constant, notable shifts. From changes in consumer behavior and purchasing tendencies to staff furloughs, supplier additions and product rerouting, the food supply chain has been literally and figuratively forced to think - and act - quickly on its feet.
As a result, during this time, it has been essential for food brands to understand their products’ immediate location within the supply chain, as well as how this pinpoint fits into the overall route to its final destination: into consumer hands. Not only is supply chain visibility critical for optimizing efficiency, minimizing cost, preventing food waste and protecting the end consumer; it’s also vital for redirecting inventory, as well.
The global pandemic has led to an indisputable surge in demand for home consumption items. There has coincidentally been a significant, heightened reliance on retail grocery as consumer behavior has seen the emergence of what’s commonly referred to as an “at-home nesting” trend. It’s evident that consumers have shifted what they are buying, as well as how they are buying it. According to Rabobank estimates, every 10% drop in out-of-home food spending, such as in restaurants, cafes and cafeterias, equals an approximate 3% increase in retail food spending. And McKinsey & Company reports that foodservice closures have accounted for 10 to 20 percent grocery growth in Western markets.
The impact of this change has been significant, affecting a wide range of food products, especially popular categories like packaged goods, produce, dairy and meat. In addition, it has unequivocally driven the need for food brands to redirect inventory to meet growing consumer demand and evolving purchasing trends.
FoodLogiQ customers are using the Connect platform to gain full visibility into their supply chain, accessing a detailed view of inventory at the batch-lot level to better understand product levels, shortages and trajectories. With this increased understanding of product locations, quantities and pathways, organizations have been able to act swiftly to hold, withdraw, recall or redirect products to new locations. Major manufacturing brands like Frontier Co-op have also successfully pivoted sourcing while maintaining documentation by having strong verification and integrity program in place.
Through the launch of Investigations, food businesses have gained the ability to identify product according to specific parameters, understand exactly where it is and how it has transformed, and target the root cause of any issues at hand. Customers also have the ability to initiate a product hold, recall or withdrawal from directly within the Investigation. They can then follow the progress of the event through a live dashboard within Recall + Response, or opt to take additional action, such as inventory redistribution or redirection to a different destination.
Through heightened visibility, an understanding of product trajectory and transformation at the batch-lot level, and the ability to take swift action on that product, FoodLogiQ customers are able to take the measures they need to ensure business continuity, provide transparency and uphold food safety.