Authored by: Vijendra Kargudri
The onset of the pandemic has disrupted every sector, and the food supply chain has not been spared either, affecting the vital aspect of human survival. The ramification of the pandemic has led to social distancing, workers’ movement restriction, depletion in the workforce & essential items, change in consumption pattern, the shutdown of food production facilities, and monetary constraints. It has necessitated the critical need for technological innovations to keep the food supply chain from further collapse.
Lockdown, social distancing, and workforce safety
Post pandemic, almost everyone has been working from home. The disruptions in the food supply chain have witnessed unforeseen demand for food while increasing the need for efficient supply chain management.
Along with a reduced workforce, the warehouses have had inventory shortages. This situation has been compounded by the movement restrictions, exerting extra strain on the entire supply chain ecosystem.
Change in consumer behavior and concern for better hygiene
The global/local lockdowns led to panic buying and hoarding of essential food. It has caused unforeseen demand for food, building a lot of pressure on manufacturers. Living in a pandemic state, the modern consumer has shifted from offline to online shopping to avoid the risk of community transmission. Consumers are steadily showing interest in how the food reaches their plates, despite having no evidence that food poses a threat to public health due to COVID-19. Food being perishable produce requires a warehouse that is intelligent to manage the inventory efficiently & hygienically, ready to supply in response to the real-time demand. And in coming days the demand is bound to rise further requiring warehouses that are capable to handle any such scenario.
Additionally, due to COVID-19 safety concerns, consumers are seeking safe plant-based proteins, meat alternatives, nutrition and wellness solutions, and hygienic products only. All of this has significantly modified and impacted rates of production. With the consumers being concerned about the hygiene and planned maintenance in the factories, manufacturers are under pressure from a quality and safety perspective.
Warehouse management and reconstruction of financial portfolio
In this unprecedented time of the global pandemic, food supply chain companies have been facing problems maintaining their logistic cycle, a crucial element of the food industry. It affects every process, from the procurement of resources to the movement of the food cycle from producers to the end buyers. Hence, companies opt for reshoring or nearshoring, i.e., bringing manufacturing tasks in-house or at least closer to home. While some manufacturers opt for decentralized warehouse facilities in critical locations, others utilize established third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
It has become crucial to know precisely where or how much inventory is in each location to provide accurate and speedier delivery. The optimization and decentralization solutions offered by advanced software have automated the storage and retrieval systems, assuring better floor space. Financial innovations like risk management and analytical software, have provided assisted financial programs, portfolio diversification applications, and modified business models concerning hygiene, well-being, and distancing helped in mitigating the ramifications of COVID-19.
Intelligent automation of warehouse for optimum future logistics
Harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) power, warehouse managers can optimize complex procedures, facilitate warehouse automation, and reconstruct existing policies & management structures, reinvigorating the food supply chain to provide food on the consumer’s table.
Technology plays a vital role in helping warehouses function efficiently. From providing applications with in-built algorithms that create safer routes and monitor temperature; to dispensing well-structured automation processes that offer easy check-ins, optimizing delivery batches, and ensuring social distancing of the laborers.
Companies are also promoting labor interactions to reduce access to labor while guaranteeing their safety. It involves increased flexibility of labor sourcing and timing and replacing workers with machines.
As per Forbes, the need for social distancing has accelerated the dependence upon e-commerce. Global total online spending after the pandemic first wave has been up 77%. The increasing dependence upon e-commerce has affected managers to opt for technologically efficient supply chain management systems.
How can Krypt help you?
KRYPT is an SAP preferred partner and has assisted global businesses across 35 countries to successfully implement SAP EWM, TM, GTS & IBP.
Krypt innovation solution KAI can help supply chain & warehouses managers to adopt innovative technology for improved space utilization, order fulfillment, and labor management. KAI can seamlessly merge with any SAP and non-SAP critical systems to efficiently manage online marketplaces, shopping carts, and supporting technologies to facilitate operational efficiency.
If your business is at crossroads in choosing the best options for warehouse operations, then get in touch with Krypt experts to guide & help you explore the flexibility in deploying KAI & SAP EWM applications and ensure the best fit for your business.
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