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:
Key Use Cases for TMS in Food and Grocery Supply Chains
- 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.