Food and beverage supply chains have been pushed to new limits. With global supply chain shortages, distribution issues, increased consumer demand and growing regulations to follow, you’ve got the perfect storm for manufacturers. Consumers are putting more and more trust into manufacturers as they look for increased visibility into the products that they purchase, but with all this pressure how do you even keep up?

Cracks starting to show

If you flashback to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, most of us can remember empty shelves, long queues and struggling to even get the most basic of ingredients. The fragility of our supply chains was exposed and revealed the cracks in even the largest corporations. It was unearthed that a food supply chain can break down almost instantly, so it’s become a core goal for many to focus on traceability, to really understand where goods are, where they’ve been and how to move them agilely.

Effective traceability is only possible if enough tracking information is available and if the systems being used throughout the supply chain are all connected. This gives you the opportunity to create a single source of digital truth, by bringing manufacturers, processing plants, warehouses and wholesalers together. With such technology in place, organisations get more than just traceability to meet consumer needs and comply with regulations. With access to data throughout the entire supply chain, companies are able to analyse their supply chains for future trends, they’re able to collate more data than ever before, that enables them to predict things that they’ve never been able to.

Consumers know what they want

Consumers are dictating what they want. They know that if they demand certain things, companies can’t ignore it, so they’ll get it. Consumers are far more knowledgeable today about the food they purchase and with so much information fed to us on a day-to-day basis, our food choices aren’t left behind, we’re beginning to demand a closer connection to our food, and ultimately only buying from companies who provide us with that ability.

What’s being demanded is more than just what is provided on the existing food label. Consumers change their behavior rather quickly, just think about how you might have changed your eating habits, maybe based on an article you read, or what your peers are doing. Maybe you’ve lowered your salt intake, reduced sugar consumption, joined in on Meat Free Mondays? All of these small changes have big impacts on manufacturers. The increased pressure to develop new products, stay ahead of competition and keep up with the everchanging customer demands, all whilst not letting traceability slip.

Full transparency is sometimes viewed as a nightmare by some manufacturers, but for others it’s an opportunity. It’s now more than regulatory compliance, but it’s a true differentiator. A differentiator that matters to modern consumers.

What now?

So, we can see why traceability is so important, from consumer demand to dealing with fluctuating supply chains, but how do you do it and how do you do it well? By simplifying and embedding data capture within your operations, organisational data of your activities can be captured quickly and accurately.

For our customers using IFS we’re able to help them use CB Apps, our data capture solution, to streamline and simplify all transactions to reduce costs, shorten delivery time and gain visibility. Our customers are able to deal with the demands that traceability brings effectively, helping them stay competitive and ahead of the game.