Integrated Technology Key to Successful Operations

Jennifer Karpus-Romain, executive director for Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA), details why integrating technology is valuable to a company’s operations.

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The New Normal… a phrase created shortly after the pandemic to signify the new way of doing business.

But for many supply chains, that “new” way of doing business changes constantly, forcing decision-makers to continuously pivot.

In Food Logistics’ Nov/Dec 2022 issue, editor-in-chief Marina Mayer talks with industry experts about what the return to normalcy in the supply chain space looks like and what’s in store for global cold chains come 2023.

Here’s an interview with Jennifer Karpus-Romain, executive director for Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA), who details why integrating technology is valuable to a company’s operations, with excerpts publishing in Food Logistics’ Nov/Dec 2022 issue. [CLICK HERE to read the article in full].

Food Logistics: What are some of the main trends or challenges set to disrupt supply chains in 2023 (be specific)?

Jennifer Karpus-Romain: Customer expectation is a huge challenge for the supply chain. If parents have a sick child, they can order soup from a restaurant or cough drops from the local convenience store and have them delivered directly to their door through apps like UberEats and DoorDash. They can even track where their items are throughout the process until it arrives. This type of expectation of visibility and expediency is going to increase across the supply chain.

Food Logistics: The cold food chain continues to face a host of risk/security challenges. What can companies be doing now to adapt for the future?

Karpus-Romain: Having integrated technology is incredibly valuable to a company’s operations. Yet, if software systems are not set up with the proper security in place, you are putting data at risk. Looking back at the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies saw an influx of workers needing to access company data while working remotely. Yet, how many businesses had their tech stack set up with the proper security and authentication protocols, such as Single Sign-On? These types of protocols will become standard business practices in time. Companies should invest in technology risk management.

Food Logistics: The labor shortage is a real thing, and it’s impacting several facets of the supply chain. What is your company – or what should companies – be doing to hire, onboard and retain good quality supply chain workers?

Karpus-Romain: Too often when we discuss the labor shortage, we focus on recruiting and not enough on retaining quality employees. Having workers understand how they fit into a business is key. When onboarding an employee, how much time is spent actually training? What type of ongoing support or training is given to team members once their initial onboarding is complete? Does a company have regular check-ins with employees or just conduct exit interviews when they are already out the door? Many employees will invest more in a company when they feel that investment is reciprocal.

[CLICK HERE to read the article in full].