Today, the U.S. food industry faces several challenges due to consumer behavior and changing trends in the economy. From the quality of food production to the digital transformation of the supply chain. And that’s because receiving fresh, good food comes with a big responsibility. If the product is not stored well, is forgotten in stock or has problems in transport, it generates costs and waste (Felix et al., 2020; The Food Tech, 2023).
Fortunately, all this can be improved. Here are 4 tips to optimize the supply chain and avoid potential risks.
1. Automating food production
One of the areas of greatest investment in the supply chain is automation in the production and distribution stages. As a result, food manufacturing is implementing digital technologies in its operations. These include tracking systems, sensors, data analytics and mobile applications to collect information (Alfaro, 2021; Carr et al., 2022).
Its application allows streamlining food processes such as fruit and achieves significant improvements in yield. For example, it offers data centralization, projection of fruit demand, data updating in real time, among others. This generates higher productivity, shorter delivery times, speed to market and avoids risks such as fruit damage (Alfaro, 2021; Carr et al., 2022).
2. Control product traceability
Getting food from one place to another requires good transportation and storage infrastructure. Any failure in this system can cause delays and shortages. This is especially true in perishable food processes, such as fruits. These require proper temperature and humidity control to avoid spoilage (Félix et al., 2020).
Therefore, it is essential to track products to have control over their inventory and dispatch. This allows quick decisions to be made in case of possible problems, which increases trust and transparency with customers. It also ensures that the product received meets all regulatory, quality and traceability standards (Alfaro, 2021; Félix et al., 2020).
3. Taking care of inventory management in food production
Maintaining good inventory management prevents spoilage or contamination of food products such as fruits. For this, it is necessary to integrate a system that allows the management and monitoring of storage. With this, inventory management can be controlled, from raw material replenishment to possible shortages (Destino, et al., 2022; ORBIT Logistics, 2022).
It provides visibility into the movement of fruit in stock and warehouse to avoid spoilage, misinformation, delays and more. These are solutions that help create more effective strategies and identify opportunities with greater agility (Destino, et al., 2022; ORBIT Logistics, 2022).
4. Performs a well-defined supplier selection process
One of the actions to optimize the supply chain is to have a well-defined supplier selection process. For that, it is important to examine them in terms of functional requirements, their form of integration in food production, and initial and operational costs. The process should be implemented in three parts (Destino et al.; 2022):
- With a list of business requirements covering the essential functions.
- Clear evaluation criteria that match the company’s needs and product conditions.
- With a demonstration of use cases to see how well it works in the supply chain.
Supply chain optimization is changing the way products are manufactured. Especially in food production such as fruit, where automation, traceability control, inventory management and supplier selection are key to having an efficient process and supplying U.S. markets.
- Alfaro, G. (2021, May 12). How to achieve a 100% efficient supply chain. Logical Data.
- Carr, T, et al. (2022, August 29). Delivering the manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. McKinsey & Company.
- Destino, M., et al. (2022, February 9). To improve your supply chain, modernize your supply chain IT. McKinsey & Company.
- Felix, I., et al. (2020, July 2). U.S. food supply chain: disruptions and implications of COVID-19. McKinsey & Company.
- ORBIT Logistics (2022, March 23). Food logistics: how to optimize this process.
- The Food Tech (2023, January 25). These are the challenges facing the agri-food industry.