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Building Food Supply Chain Resilience in the Post-COVID Era

Food and Beverages | Thursday, April 22, 2021

FREMONT, CA : During the COVID-19 pandemic, containment measures had a major effect on the vital movement of food from farms and suppliers to consumers. Many lessons will be learned once COVID-19's worst effects have passed, but we believe one of the most critical lessons for food businesses has already been learned. Companies should take advantage of the outbreak's momentum and re-design their supply chains to ensure potential resilience. So, what can food sector players do to make their supply chains both responsible and resilient in the post-outbreak era? A few solutions can be based on the following principles:

Go-To-Market Versatility: Existing go-to-market outlets, such as bars and restaurants, have closed down, and it is expected that societies will take 12-18 months to recover from COVID-19 completely. As a result, businesses must invest in omnichannel capabilities, emphasizing online/digital solutions. Product fungibility through channels should also be considered.

End-To-End Supply Chain Management: As it becomes more difficult for companies to source ingredients and merchandise, one option is to partner with a broader pool of suppliers, including regional ones, and hold larger strategic stocks. Maintaining a wide product range is more costly, but it spreads risks. Simplify recipes and delete problematic items from the portfolio as an option, resulting in a leaner, more manageable product range, lower risk, and lower costs. This will also free up time and money to research and develop new products that combine a balanced lifestyle with minimal environmental effects. In the meantime, it is important to focus on building partnerships with supply chain partners. To ensure market continuity and succeed post-COVID-19, supplier and consumer loyalty and resilience are critical.

Industry 4.0: In the long run, digital supply networks can make companies less insecure. Robots, for example, help to minimize reliance on migrant labor. Businesses may use track-and-trace solutions to zero in on supply chain bottlenecks. Furthermore, artificial intelligence-based tools are revolutionizing business processes and scenario management, lowering both costs and risks. Companies may use AI to forecast demand at an early stage, anticipate potential bottlenecks, and decide on the best course of action.

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