2 Key advantages to innovate in your food supply chain

For you, food industrialists, controlling the flow of goods is essential. From your supply in raw materials to your distribution of finished products at delivery points (distributors or end-consumers), the perishability of your foodstuffs adds up to other obligations (regulations, fuel prices, distribution requirements …)

On the other hand, you are also confronted with increasing demands of consumers (fresh and local products, knowledge of products origin, …) as well as new distribution channels: e-commerce, home delivery, …

Logistic must not be reduced to a simple way of responding to these obligations. Think of it as a key to growth and innovation, factor of improvement and differentiation for your company. Rethinking your supply chain is a step towards lowering costs and satisfying your consumers. Biotraq is convinced.

Why innovate in your supply chain? (and why it concerns you even more in the food industry)

Supply, raw materials and intermediate products storage, transport and finished products delivery: your good company health largely depends on your supply chain management.

Did you know that 30% of global food produced every year is lost or $1000B? 25% of these losses happens within the supply chain which means heavy financial losses for companies.

Biotraq, has developed a risk management tool to make cold chains smarter, safer and help operators to prove the quality of their highly sensitive products along their supply.

For Biotraq, there is no doubt: “the current supply chain model in the food industry is obsolete as only based on costs and transport time optimization. And in case of any malfunctioning (refrigerated truck breakdown, bad weather conditions, …), precautionary principle requires to discard products even if they are still good.”

Consequently, innovation has become an urgency which needs to be faced to: increase agility, limit food waste, but also meet higher requirements in terms of food quality, safety, security and time delivery.

Track products to adjust their shelf life

If shelf life indication is an obligation and guarantees food safety for end-consumers, Biotraq is convinced that its calculation must be reviewed to limit losses and waste in the supply chain. For the latter , “calculated in plant, a shelf life is a planned date that does not reflect the product life reality once out of the factory.”

In fact, without data on the product status all along the supply chain (transport conditions, handling, real temperatures depending on weather conditions, …), producer can not anticipate real life cycle of a product.

This is where Biotraq comes in! Its risk management platform collects data from connected sensors to analyse storage conditions that impact perishable products during supply chain. Temperature, humidity, light, … everything is sifted to anticipate real life product shelf life. “A real revolution, which allows producers and distributors to adapt to real conditions in dynamic manner.”

Take the example of a processing plant waiting for apples delivery. In case of late delivery and without information on products quality, manufacturer may find it preferable to refuse apples or to dispose of them. On the opposite, if he is informed in real time of the delay and products transport conditions, he can update his production schedule and plans a rapid transformation of those apples.

Innovate to reassure and satisfy consumers

In addition to limiting food waste, knowing the product life along the supply chain allows operators to give quality assurance to end-consumers, in response to their rising expectations in terms of traceability and new distribution channels.

Traceability and transparency

As a response to the challenge of traceability and information requests by consumers, blockchain technology makes possible to set up a securing chain of information. It enables development of traceability applications that can be used by all supply chain players.

We are beginning to see concrete implementations of blockchain technology until then remained at concept stage. For example, Carrefour launched this year a blockchain monitoring its chicken production.

Home delivery

Another growing consumer demand is new delivery channels. According to an IFOP survey on consumer expectations for online shopping (Source: Logistic Strategy, special issue n ° 9, June 2016), two major points settled out are about delivery:

  • For 62% of respondents, delivery is the most important criterion
  • 84% of buyers are ready to change brands for a more satisfactory delivery

But in the food industry, delivering fresh produce is an additional constraint. To meet this demand, transport companies specialize in transport and delivery of refrigerated packages. For example, some of them has set up an express delivery service with a dedicated transport offer for dry, fresh or frozen products.

To go further

These are just some examples of benefits that your supply chain optimization can bring to your business. In terms of innovation, in logistics, there is no limit: waste recycling, accident prevention at work, pooling of resources are other levers for potential actions.

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