Skip to main content

Resiliency in a Rapidly Evolving Food Supply Chain

Real-time monitoring helps to proactively address supply chain disruptions

Resiliency blog header

As the food industry responds to evolving global demands, supply chains are being disrupted with ever-increasing complexity and rapidly changing challenges. As a company in this industry, you may be finding it difficult to maintain high standards of product quality while attempting to improve logistics performance, control costs, operate more efficiently and increase customer satisfaction.

That’s where resiliency, driven by visibility from real-time cargo monitoring, comes in. When you have automated processes that drive insights on your product as it travels through the supply chain, you can take proactive measures to address disruptions with speed and flexibility. With the ability to respond proactively and in-the-moment, you have the power to take back control of your supply chain, manage business effectively and deliver high-quality goods.

Real-Time Visibility is Now a Business Necessity

Late departures, driver shortages, extended wait times at borders, extreme weather and other events can occur without warning when your cargo is in transit. You may also have other issues affecting in-transit cargo—such as droughts, labor strikes, political disruptions, or like in recent times, a pandemic.

Any of those scenarios can result in costly and untimely disruptions, especially for temperature-sensitive products—unless you are using a cold-chain monitoring solution that delivers real-time, in-transit cargo data to address issues in the moment. The data, which is collected by IoT-based sensors, can be analyzed for precise visibility into the location and condition of your shipments at any time.

Disruptions can be managed as they are happening, allowing you to pivot as needed with critical information that offers visibility into questions such as:

  • Where is my cargo right now?
  • What condition is it in?
  • When will it be delivered, and are any delays expected?
  • How can I take action to manage a current issue?

Mitigate Risk with In-the-Moment Data

Operationalizing real-time information can help you make proactive decisions that can reduce the impact of disruptions and challenges in your supply chain like these common ones here.

  • Costly temperature excursions. When temperature-sensitive cargo is transported, partners and employees assume responsibility for maintaining the quality and value of the product as it is packaged, stored and shipped. Without in-depth visibility into how well product temperatures are controlled in each in-transit segment, unseen temperature excursions could compromise your cargo and cause costly consequences.
  • Lack of supply chain compliance. As your cargo travels, there are service-level agreements (SLAs), standard operating procedures (SOPs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) that help your partners and internal staff assure product quality and on-time deliveries. A lack of visibility into the location and condition of your cargo at any given moment could prevent you from managing the expectations of these agreements, and result in costly excursions or delays.
  • High insurance premiums. Because of a heavy reliance on a variety of suppliers, contractors and handlers, you may be required to pay high insurance premiums to protect investments in the cargo. For instance, if the refrigeration equipment of a logistics provider broke down and caused product to be compromised, replacing it may be cost prohibitive for your company without insurance.

Controlling and reducing costs while improving quality is a given in any part of a business—but the lack of visibility into your cold chain can ultimately result in higher financial burdens across your entire organization.

Comprehensive Data Capture Nets Broad Insights

At the heart of cargo monitoring is intelligent data capture and end-to-end visibility that helps increase compliance, reduce labor costs, improve response time, decrease product loss and develop better supplier relationships. The data and visibility can provide benefits such as:

  • Greater transparency. Gain insights into the location of your cargo and its condition in real time, increasing your ability to respond quickly and reduce inventory waste.
  • Improved risk mitigation. Respond to issues in the moment before they become critical so you can manage disruptions while mitigating losses and improving customer satisfaction.
  • Increased efficiency. Know the location and condition of your cargo so you can better triage and manage through exceptions, saving time and labor costs.
  • Better collaboration. Work more effectively with suppliers, carriers and employees on longer-term compliance issues for continuous improvement while protecting your brand and reputation.

To learn more, read the entire white paper "Resiliency in a Rapidly Evolving Food Supply Chain".