The value of the global food and beverage market will likely reach a staggering $6196 billion in 2021, up approximately 6% from the pandemic-challenged year before. As is the case in many sectors, companies in the food and beverage space have adapted their operations and accelerated digitalization efforts to minimize supply chain risks caused by unanticipated disruption and foster greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. Delivering a consistent customer experience and coping with supply chain disruption remain key challenges, particularly concerning delivering goods on time and ensuring shelves remain stocked.
Over the past decade and beyond, food and beverage retailers have evolved their operations across all channels to improve customer experience continually. This has led to many retailers investing in an omnichannel approach. Whether online or in-store, consumers want consistent availability and timely access to their preferred products. To make this operational model feasible, warehouses and distribution centers need to maintain consistent responsiveness in fulfilling orders and be strategically positioned near delivery points.
Alongside building more streamlined delivery networks, food and beverage retailers are investing more and more in innovative solutions to help meet growing consumer expectations around product availability and buyer experience, enabling them to perform direct-to-consumer deliveries and more frequent direct-to-store deliveries.
New digital supply chain capabilities are also helping supply chain managers in the industry overcome disruptions and build resilience. Improved supply chain visibility, for example, unlocks the ability for supply chain managers to formulate and apply new strategies, take advantage of predictive analytics to streamline daily logistics operations, and drive innovations throughout their value chains thanks to improved collaboration between ecosystem partners. This all combines to keep their supply chain more manageable and cooperative.
Dealing with complexity
The increasing global economic strain has raised concerns within many sectors. For example, in the circumstances of talent shortages, supply chain technology has become a game-changer to refine processes and make supply chain jobs less stressful. The demand for efficient structures around warehousing, docking, distribution, adhering to government regulation, holding paperwork for crossing borders, and the safety of workers have all presented themselves as crucial areas of the process for supply chain managers to handle.
That is why issues such as the lack of information and clarity on whether the stock will hit the shelves on time have frustrated store owners and consumers. Not to forget the essential administrative effort to coordinate with carriers, held up with non-value-adding tasks.
Consider that in recent times, challenges like the pandemic and port blockages have pushed the food industry even further down the road to acquiring high levels of supply chain visibility across manufacturers, producers, merchants, eateries, and supermarkets. Those who have tried increasing inventory levels have found that more working capital is required, extra physical space is needed, and often stocking up on inventory that is perishable or at risk of expiring is wasteful and unsustainable.
Instead, operators in each of these areas are implementing supply chain solutions with real-time visibility to ensure a discernible overview of inventory and pinpoint the sources of a given product quickly and efficiently.
Delivering with simplicity
It is time to leverage real-time transportation visibility to streamline logistics processes. Further improving on-time deliveries to stores for consumers and reducing penalties from retailers with precisely recorded arrival times using geofencing and GPS location.
Companies like Coca-Cola HBC have achieved that. As one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products globally, their use of a real-time transportation visibility solution develops service levels while at the same time diminishing transportation overheads, thanks to a decrease in waiting times, improved flexibility, and resource planning.