Supply Chain Management is a significant challenge for food and beverage companies. Be it the high-volume consignments, food safety regulations, shelf-life concerns, or workforce management, an entire branch of food and beverage analytics is devoted to optimizing supply chains. This has become all the more crucial in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses depend on precision-based data analytics and customized AI tools to manage their logistical, storage, and distribution requirements. Here are five important tips for the effective management of your food and beverage supply chain.
Essential Tips for Food and Beverage Supply Chain
- Digitization with Cloud-based Storage
Present-day food and beverage analytics place a lot of emphasis on going digital. All the critical checkpoints in your supply chain need to be digitally traceable. But mere digitization is not sufficient today. As a business owner, you need to have access to all the crucial data anytime and anywhere. The supply chain management software and database need to have a cloud backup for this to be possible. The data needs to be uploaded in the cloud in real-time and should be sufficiently encrypted and tamper-proof. Furthermore, there have to be mechanisms for checks and balances, notifying you of important progress updates, and so on.
- Intuitive Temperature Monitoring Devices
Maintaining a particular range of transport and storage temperatures is pivotal for most food and beverage ingredients and finished products. Any deviation might lead to food quality issues, health hazards, and food recalls. The functional beverage industry and food sector have been relying on hi-tech temperature monitors that are adept with the high-volume, high-traffic operations of your Cold Chain. The most common ones are:-
- Wireless Temperature Monitors that send out an ‘Alert’ Signal if the normal range is breached.
- In-built temperature control mechanism in refrigerated shipping containers
- Abiding by Consumer-driven Trends
Food and beverage product labels such as Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Preservative-free, Gluten-free, Cage-free, and so on are in vogue nowadays. There is a strong preference for these products in the market. Modifying your supply chain to cater to some of these labels (as deemed relevant) can be a winning move. Of course, this needs to be accompanied by unhindered supply chain traceability and clear marketing communication.
- Coping with the Plastic Ban
There are R&D professionals who assist companies, day in and day out, to transit towards using recyclable materials for packaging. Food and beverage businesses are spending a lot of money innovating more sustainable materials and reasonable alternatives to single-use plastics. For supply chain management, cracking this code of sustainability is a must, especially since governmental norms against plastics have taken the front seat in recent times.
- AI tools for Food Safety Compliance
Most food and beverage businesses have been struggling to cope with the enhanced food safety norms due to the Covid-19 situation. AI tools can be handy for seamless compliance across the supply chain. For instance, a China-based food safety AI tool has facial recognition programs and hygiene parameters set in CCTV cameras. If any food handler is not wearing a hat, a mask, or gloves, an automated signal is raised immediately to notify the concerned authorities.
To Sum Up
The erstwhile bare minimum expectations or norms of supply chain management are no longer applicable for businesses today. For the functional beverage industry and modern-day food industry, traceability is a vital requirement. Consumers are more inclined to purchase from trustworthy food and beverage brands with transparent supply chains that implement adequate measures for sustainability. Hence, a seamless, accountable, and well-managed supply chain is the need of the hour since it goes hand in hand with your brand image and profitability.