February 12, 2018

Creating Agility in Today’s Supply Chain

By: Pat Walsh, Chief Business Development Officer and Vice President, Supply Chain

At the end of any well-executed grocery supply chain is a satisfied consumer. However, as we witness an era of unprecedented change in food retail, supply chains must become more agile to keep today’s consumer satisfied. Here are a few ways the supply chain is evolving:

Changing Consumer Preferences
Shoppers look for fresher and more natural products in-store to meet their health and wellness needs.  Consumers also crave a greater personalization in the foods they purchase creating an opportunity for new niche products in the supply chain.

Shifts to Omnichannel
According to the FMI Digitally Engaged Food Shopper report, consumer spending is set to hit $100 billion in online sales by 2022. As e-grocery sales continue to climb, grocers are looking for new ways to accommodate the digital shopper with more personalized options and delivery services.

The Technology Revolution
Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, human-machine interactions, and digital-to-physical conversions are digitalizing the supply chain from farm to fork.

This year, the TPA Supply Chain Committee worked to identify five imperatives that may allow supply chains to operate more effectively to resolve these disruptions.

  • Agility regarding what, when and where products are produced and distributed will create maximum profitability.
  • Increased productivity through tools like zero-based budgeting and economies of scale will enhance cost efficiency.
  • Digital tools and data analysis will be applied throughout the supply chain to enhance agility and productivity.
  • Integration across the chain will compel manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to think and act from end to end.
  • New forms of talent development will give the industry a workforce equipped with the tools to operate throughout the supply chain in the most effective way possible.

These imperatives, and others, are topics on the program at the 2018 TPA Supply Chain Conference from April 15-17 in Orlando, Florida. Learn more at FMI.org/Supply-Chain-Conference.