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Study: F&B Supply Chains Are Changing

Compiled By Dave Schafer A study of food and beverage businesses' supply-chain initiatives found an industry in the midst of significant change, adopting new processes and applications and focusing on core operating-cost reductions. The Food and Beverage Industry Report, based on a survey of logistics and supply-chain executives covering 30 food and beverage companies in the U.S. and Europe, addressed a range of topics, including supply-chain strategies, technologies, and investment priorities. Some of the key findings from the study, conducted by McHugh Software International, Waukesha, Wisc., and consulting firm Tompkins Associates, Raleigh, N.C.:

  • Despite strong interest in many emerging supply-chain capabilities, core operating-cost reduction will remain the top supply-chain initiative over the next two-to-three years.
  • Companies place a high priority on improving supply-chain scorecarding and metric systems.
  • There is significant interest in improving supply-chain visibility, but the costs and challenges of integrating with trading partners remain a barrier.
"Food and beverage companies are moving toward a new model of continuous product flow based on end-to-end visibility and end customer pull," says Dan Gilmore, vice president of marketing, McHugh. "To support this, new digital logistics technologies that enable supply-chain synchronization and collaboration will be integrated with core warehouse, transportation, and labor management systems to provide truly integrated enterprise logistics management." The complete 16-page report can be downloaded at McHugh Software International or Tompkins Associates.
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