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Why Smart Supply chain is becoming instrumental for food businesses?
Smart supply chain - A necessary affair for business
Interestingly, a container carrying a radioactive isotope went missing during its transit in southern part of India. Amid panic in the region and assurances from concerned departments, investigative team traced the object Caesium 137 to a dump yard in a span of 5 days. This incident features some pertinent inputs for the CPG companies in India. Going into the details, supply chain is increasingly becoming critical factor in the consumer goods sector due to the inter dependencies. Pilferage, product damage, counterfeiting are prime challenges among others in the distribution network for business entities. These overheads significantly affect the bottom line of the business. Hence, CPG companies are facing incessant challenges to mitigate the losses due to issues related to supply chain integrity.
Is digital adaption picking pace?
With advancements in the technology, there are enormous devices that are connected to a network than ever before. At the same time these connected devices unleash a flow of data which was also not completely utilized until recently. However, the amount of insights these data generates make the digital transformation a necessary affairs for businesses. Take for instance; in the above event of missing isotope a vehicle tracking system (fleet management) would have easily solved the mystery or at least pointed out the susceptible zones for search operations to optimize the timelines. Although, the same can be successful without any technology intervention, insights in a quick turnaround time makes the digital means insuperable. Taking into consideration of the digital policy framework in India, a positive trend was witnessed in the last couple years in the adaption of digital process. Amid, positive sentiments and friendly government policies, there would be a increase of investments in this space that align with the policy of Digital India
Introduction to supply chain losses - Temperature controls are increasingly being critical in the food supply chain
While narrowing down our context to food and its supply chain issue, it is important to note that as per an FAO report, an estimated 30% of the food produced for human consumption globally is lost or wasted somewhere along the food supply chain. Losses refer to malfunctioning of system due to managerial or technical components and occur during production, processing and distribution. On the other hand, wastage refers to spoiled or expired stock and typically happens near the end user/ retailer.
Losses in the production stage are mitigated by implementing lean models in the facility. However, the areas of transportation and storage are classified as high risk prone areas due to the amount of losses that take place in these stages of the product supply. The common problems are related to adverse climatic conditions, improper handling of goods leading to compression and temperature changes. Unfavorable conditions are critical in the supply chain losses as these could have irreversible conditions on the product. For instance, variations in temperatures could cause enlargement and may result in leaks, loss in desired shape and even texture of the product. Similar effects on the product quality are observed for low temperature conditions and also for unprecedented changes in humidity. Considering the growing importance of the temperature conditions, there are various product offerings for monitoring of temperatures in the fleet.
Typically, in the fleet temperature monitoring devices the data would be transmitted from the wireless temperature sensors with long battery life (low power devices) that transmit the data by radio frequency to a secure cloud network. Such interfaces come with user-friendly, intuitive and customizable environment adaptive to the user's needs. We have provided a brief overview of one such smart device which is currently in market in the subsequent sections. We had a privilege of having a short interaction with its founder James Shepherd recently and would like to bring the product features for our readers.
In conclusion, it is imperative that food businesses are required to bring controls in the supply chain to lessen the leakages. Although, there could be other alternatives, smart supply chains are going to the future because of the discrete features that this brings to the table. With already significant adaption of IOT taking place in allied sectors of advanced nations, this trend would eventually come to the emerging nations.
FRANK – Smart compliance management for your food businesses
Smart tool designed with aged care and expert guidance
Best features - Easy to understand features mean FRANK can be in use by staff in your kitchen with the minimum of fuss. The ability to trace a meal from cooking to serving to show that food is produced safely within the business. Easy to see reports that show the taking of food safety temperatures, including by individual food handlers. Use of existing hardware, easy installation, security and storage are more
Helps improve efficiency- Let the technology help you and your team record vital food safety temperatures. No printing of paper forms (saves time and money), and the information is always available, (no lost paperwork). Be more prepared for regulatory food audits and inspections with food safety data at your fingertips (literally!)
Regulatory Compliance - FRANK is updated regularly with more features to help food businesses which save on time and money!
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