Today’s food supply chain planning and execution tools allow service providers to grasp changing consumer needs and respond to them fast enough to guarantee satisfaction, thereby enabling the organization to operate efficiently and sustainably. According to an article in the July Food Logistics, each node along the chain–growers, processors, packagers, distributors, retailers and transporters–can function at a speed and level of accuracy not imagined five years ago.
As software tools improve, the different “nodes” in the supply chain–growers, processors, retailers, etc.–are increasingly integrating data systems with one another to a degree not previously witnessed. The growing demands for quality, safety, transparency and visibility are driving this change.
The profile of the supply chain toolkit itself has risen in many corporate boardrooms. Food company information technology directors are ensuring that supply chain management systems integrate with just about every business function. Software tools continue to adapt to a rising array of material handling sensors to ensure all relevant data gets included in the supply chain manager’s toolkit.
A series of interviews with food supply chain decision makers confirms that the “always on supply chain” is already a reality. The “always on supply chain” concept, articulated in the Material Handling Institute’s 2016 Annual Industry Report on page 14, notes these networks deliver a continuous, high-velocity flow of information and analytics, creating predictive, actionable decisions that better serve the customer.
All parties agree that actionable information is one of the most important requirements in today’s supply chain.
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