Food and Grocery TMS: How Food Distributors Utilize a TMS to Stay Compliant & Reduce Costs

Food & Grocery For TMS

Few disruptions in history mirror the problems associated with Black Swan events, including natural disasters and the current COVID-19 pandemic. For food supply chains, disruptions amplify supply chain problems. After all, food is a necessity, and regardless of unforeseen circumstances, it will remain in demand. Fortunately, the use of a transportation management system (TMS) can help food distributors maintain compliance, lower safety risks, and reduce costs.

Pain Points in Food and Grocery Supply Chains

It is not difficult to isolate pain points in food and grocery supply chains. According to Supply Chain Beyond, food supply chains have common problems and opportunities for improvement including:

  • A lack of traceability breeds mistrust among consumers and can lead to health problems from foodborne illness.
  • Poor safety and quality maintenance further increase the level of risk within the supply chain, not to mention contributing to higher costs deriving from spoiled or destroyed foods.
  • Lackluster communication may contribute to bottlenecks in delays and managing the dock and yard within your facilities.
  • Higher costs derived from the continuing increase in costs of necessities.
  • Missing inventory visibility will inevitably lead to issues with over-ordering or under-ordering.

Expanding TMS Capabilities Create More Visibility Within the Food and Grocery Supply Chain

The value of a TMS that is capable of handling the unique requirements of the food and grocery segment is even more important as organizations work to expand offerings within the food and beverage supply chain. For example, meal kits and dinner boxes require an expansion of TMS and logistics management functions. Meanwhile, diversity continues to grow within traditional food supply chains. As explained by Food Logistics:

“Transportation management needs vary in the food and beverage supply chain. Many companies have invested in routing and scheduling software. But routing and scheduling only address some of the functions shippers and fleet managers must address in today’s food supply chain. State-of-the-art software can allow them to improve transportation efficiencies.”
Such expansion of TMS functions for food and grocery must provide real-time data and avoid the pitfalls of conflicts. Moreover, advanced systems work well with analytics platforms, continuously providing insight into the past, present, and future needs of the supply chain to add value and reduce costs.

Key Use Cases for TMS in Food and Grocery Supply Chains

How exactly can a TMS benefit food and grocery supply chains? The answers are comparable to the improvements or use cases made through a connected, end-to-end TMS deployment, including:
  • Predictive analytics to improve inventory management.
  • Route optimization to execute and maintain cold chain continuity.
  • Access to more capacity to lower rates through consolidation and LTL.
  • Connected telematics to understand driver behaviors and automate transportation.

Leverage a Cold Chain-Ready TMS to Overcome the Obstacles

A TMS that is designed to support the cold chain enables end-to-end visibility, identifies problems that may lead to delays, and actively helps organizations maintain greater transparency into food shipping. It is time to start thinking about investing in a newer, more effective TMS before the next disruption strikes.

Explore how a connected TMS enables success in food and grocery and cold chain with a demo of the MercuryGate platform now.

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