One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic truly brought home is that smooth, efficient communication between parties is one of the most crucial aspects of successful food supply chain operations.
Effective communication helps companies to respond quickly to counter each disruption while anticipating future challenges. One of the best ways to do that is by using technology.
The food supply chain is a complicated web, involving many parties including:
- The internal shipping team
- Warehouse and retail employees
- Farms and fisheries
- Food service providers
Like dominoes, when one piece fails, the entire operation can topple.
Here are just a few of the many possible consequences of communication gaps between parties:
- Supplies don’t know when demand changes
- Deliveries may arrive late or at the wrong location
- Food spoils before it is delivered
- Items are lost or damaged
- Excessive storage fees
Here are some ways technology is helping improve communication between all parties of the food supply chain to avoid these types of headaches.
1. Fleet management
Fleet management technology uses GPS, cameras, and other sensors to provide real-time updates regarding the exact location of vehicles. This enables warehouses to communicate changes in demand and for drivers to learn if there are traffic delays or other emergencies. This technology can also communicate back to companies, informing management if employees are using unsafe driving practices or rewarding them if they are especially productive and conscientious.
2. Voice-based technology
Voice-based technology enables real-time, hands-free communication. Warehouse managers can deliver instructions directly to warehouse pickers via hands-free headsets. This enables them to work more quickly and helps speed the learning curve for seasonal or temporary workers.
3. Inventory and demand data
Using technology to track inventory and demand, such as how many units of given items will sell in an upcoming period, helps supplies and other key players ensure there is enough inventory to meet customer needs. When these key players use this information to liaise more effectively, they can determine patterns and trends of future demand and inform decisions about production capacity and pricing.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that use radiofrequency electromagnetic fields for data transfer allow companies to strengthen communication between departments. For example, they can deliver information about inventory arrival and departure times, allowing more accurate pick and pack hours. Real-time tracking and management of the food distribution process, delivery status, and driver productivity lead to fewer lost or late deliveries and fresher products.
Ultimately, technology can create more flexible communication between all aspects of the supply chain leading to increased employee productivity and morale, higher customer satisfaction, and improved efficiency
Advanced Mobile Group – Your supply chain technology experts
At Advanced Mobile Group, we understand that a strong supply chain requires effective communication. We serve companies in the Mid-Atlantic region with one-stop mobile solutions, including hardware, software, integration, and wireless network components, all of which can help improve communication between different departments and parties within the food supply chain.
In addition to having decades of experience, Advanced Mobile Group makes it our mission to build strong relationships with each of our clients, whether they are regional or global brands. Our state-of-the-art services and solutions include:
- Mobile computing
- Wireless infrastructure
- RFID solutions
- Voice technology solutions
- Bar code scanning
To learn more about how we can help you overcome your supply challenges and achieve your goals, contact us.