Talk Is Not Always Cheap

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Contrary to the adage, talk is not always cheap—assuming, of course, that one is able to put their money where their mouth is.

Many executives in the food and beverage sector talk about how software and technology is playing a more critical role in managing supply chains. And while there are plenty of proven results to substantiate those claims, there is a fair amount of hyperbole to wade through too.

For this first Food Logistics special edition of 2014, entitled “A Conversation About Software and Technology in the Global Food Supply Chain,” we wanted to know from executives what was getting their attention and why. From there, we compiled examples that helped tell the story for our readers.

During production of this special edition, our staff was busy attending several major industry trade shows — one in the U.S. and another in Europe — both with significant numbers of software and technology exhibitors. In retrospect, it’s interesting to compare the parallels and disparities between these two markets when it comes to the level of sophistication of their software and technology providers.

Maybe we just crossed paths with an unusually high number of executives from the ‘hyperbole’ camp during our participation in the Europe show, but it was an eye opening experience for us during four days of back-to-back meetings with transportation software providers, asset tracking device and cold chain monitoring device manufacturers. From my humble perspective, a lot of what we saw was simply less than impressive compared to what’s available in the U.S. market.

To be clear, I certainly don’t mean to negatively characterize providers in the European market, only to point out that even in two highly developed economies, there are a range of tools and a lot of talk.

We know what the pros recommend: do your homework before you invest in software and technology tools, even for minor purchases. That may require digging a little deeper for the right solution for your company’s needs, but at the end of the day, your tools should be saving you money, not adding expenses to your supply chain.

Enjoy the read.