Supply chain challenges have become a constant source of stress for food and beverage companies and the businesses that contract with them. Any disruption along the supply chain can upend plant operations, production schedules, logistics, and the customer experience.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chain continues to reach well beyond urgent struggles on behalf of consumers to obtain finished products or manufacturers to get vital raw materials. As the world emerges from the past 18 months of what should have been a brief interruption in the way we do business, reports from experts reveal that the damage to the supply chain could be long-lasting.
We’ve all justifiably spent a lot of time over the last year focusing on the issues our industry is facing in keeping supply chains intact and running smoothly in the face of unprecedented demand and disruptions stemming from the pandemic. Amid all the shortages, delays and price changes, and like an exclamation point on a very memorable year, we also had a global shortage of containers due to the blockage of the Suez canal.
The pandemic-induced spike in eCommerce has been credited with accelerating technology adoption in the supply chain at least five years ahead of what forecasters expected to see by now. But despite the rush to modernize, upgrade, automate and refresh hardware, software, and processes, many facilities are still missing some of their best opportunities to improve productivity with RFID.
One side-effect of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic has been a heightened awareness of “safety” in the realm of hygiene, especially food and groceries. Early last year we were treated to videos of how to handle your groceries after you bring them home and generated such a high volume of prepared food delivery that we developed “contactless” delivery where someone in a mask rushes up to your door and leaves a non-descript package in front of it before texting you to get you to open the door (yes, how things have changed!).
With the onset of winter in the midst of an Ecommerce boom and the public hearing news about vaccines requiring a super-cold environment as low as -80 degrees Fahrenheit, many facilities are learning for the first time the importance of temperature in the printing, application, and storage of labels.
If your products will get cold or be exposed to extreme temperatures, it’s vital that you choose the right label materials, adhesives, and printing processes for your situation. Not planning properly in this regard can lead to label failure and damage to your brand's reputation.
While the term “social distancing” is the common parlance we all use and hear every day during the pandemic, the CDC also uses “physical distancing” with the same definition – “keeping a safe space – currently defined as at least 6 feet – between individuals from different households.” Given our focus is always on the workplace, we’ve been using “physical distancing” and will continue to do so. But how do you enforce it at the workplace? If there has been one thing that the recent spikes and the difficulty of the last seven months have proved is that the discipline required to eliminate workplace disruptions has been difficult to maintain on a voluntary basis.
The Food & Beverage Industry is always one of the fastest-moving in regards to the changes that come every year in terms of consumer tastes, preferences, packaging, manufacturing, storage and transportation and more. For every familiar item that seems to have remain unchanged for generations (see “ice cream” or “eggs”), there are dozens of others ways it evolves visibly and invisibly and constantly creating new opportunities – and challenges. “Regenerative vertical farms” in the aquaponics industry, Plant-based substitutes for meat, but , coconut and oat-based dairy products and more are all creating challenges up and down the supply chain from the logistics supplying the manufacturers, the packaging, storage and even the marketing. In 2020, we expect to see some of these challenges create bigger obstacles than others. Which ones should you be paying attention to?
This week we are sharing a guest blog from a local partner here in Pennsylvania, Vizinex, with some pointers on the do’s and don’ts of RFID that we found compelling as well.
You’ve heard about the amazing benefits of RFID technology and are eager to get started. You just need tags, readers and reader software, right? Wrong. RFID is not a plug and play technology. Implementing RFID requires careful consideration of the systems and environments within which the technology will be operating. Here are 5 things you must consider first.
While Wi-Fi connectivity is generally ubiquitous throughout the workplace, our homes and even in most public spaces where we dine or travel, wireless technology evolved from warehouse and distribution centers. Given the origins of wireless networking, providing reliable wireless connectivity in this environment is not entirely mastered by many businesses in the same way it is in the front offices.
Large open facilities like warehouses, distribution centers and their adjacent yards pose specific challenges coming from the building materials, the distances (and height), interior equipment and infrastructure and the types of wireless devices in use.