The Future Of Supply Chain Management: Food & Beverage
Food and Beverage brands have a unique responsibility when it comes to the production and consumption of their products...
Throughout the pandemic, Food and Beverage businesses have experienced an enormous amount of pressure to transform their supply chains and elevate their services - to improve convenience, experience and safety. With dwindling budgets and increasing demand for flexible, pick-up and delivery services, business leaders need to know where they can invest their time, and money, to generate the most immediate returns and make the greatest impact on their operations.
IT Pro Portal state that...
"The IoT and Artificial Intelligence are helping companies to reach high levels of food safety, improve traceability, cut down wastage, and reduce costs and risks across the various stages of food processing and packaging."
This blog will expand on the key transformations in the Food & Beverage market, and specifically look at the technologies businesses can be utilizing to maximise their returns.
Ingredients Traceability & Food Safety
RFID technology is an exciting innovation food and beverage businesses. From a production aspect, it presents an opportunity for businesses to improve their warehouse management through automation, while effectively tracking the journey of their products and ingredients, in real-time.
“It is generally important to ensure a proper traceability of the [food supply chain] and thus provide key information for customers' choices: the final customer has a right to know if her/his goods have been exposed to events that might have affected its qualitative properties.”
Not only is traceability important for assuring quality, it is also essential for the safety of consumers. Effective tracking technologies can help business leaders adapt to the regulatory scrutiny that is being brought to bear on companies worldwide for allergen control purposes. In Europe, from October 2021, the introduction of Natasha's Law
will put pressure on food and beverage businesses to have more accurate visibility of the existence (or nonexistence) of allergens in their products, from farm, to fork. Effective RFID and RTLS solutions can deliver that oversight.
Tracking High-Value Items
It might seem out of the ordinary for a supermarket, but for auction houses and vintage wine sellers etc., RFID tagging technology can stretch beyond the initial trackability of ingredients to enable item authentication, anti-counterfeiting processes and security assurances (giving you sight of exactly where your items are, when).
Transportation & Distribution
From a transportation and distribution perspective, RFID technology can be combined with mobile devices, software and connectivity solutions to enable route optimisation (inside and outside the four walls of your warehouse) paperless logs and real-time location information, amongst other things. Perhaps most importantly, transportation units can be fitted with sensor technologies that can ensure conditions are suited to the qualitive elements of that which is being transported.
With visibility of product journeys and processes along the way, management can make more informed and impactful decisions to improve the day-to-day running of operations.
Inventory Management For Perishable Goods
Much like the safe storage of vaccines and medical equipment, the food and beverage supply chain requires a proactive response to inventory management. With the majority of decision-makers constantly looking for better ways to manage foodborne illness from contamination, as well as total food waste, it's essential for businesses to move away from manual inventory management processes, towards automated logs that can actively inform teams of the status of their goods.
Boris Shiklo from Smart Industry stated that...
"Food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, nanomaterials and other products with limited shelf life require constant location traceability and storage-environment monitoring. To gain better visibility into the location and the condition of perishable inventory items, businesses can turn to RFID and IoT technologies."
How Can Start Making Improvements Today?
MiTEQ is working with UK business leaders in the Food and Beverage sector. Below are some of the key areas we are helping decision-makers to make improvements:
- Warehouse Handling
- Food Hygiene & Safety
- Distribution/ Transportation
- Inventory Management
- Order Fulfilment
If you'd like support improving your operational processes - be that through immediate sourcing of consumables, or strategizing for greater developments - reach out to the MiTEQ team via firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the Contact Us section of our website.