People. Process. Systems.

Ryan Feely
21st August 2020

What You Need in a Supply Chain Planning Tool Image Header

Companies operating in the food and drink industry face some of the most challenging supply chain issues around. They often deal with complex orders, multiple suppliers, seasonal trends, and expiry dates to name a few challenges.


That is why supply chain planning tools are crucial to address these issues and help provide a realistic way of managing the complexity. When it comes to selecting a system to handle your supply chain planning, you should always look for these 3 features.


1 Solving Storage & Distribution Issues

Supply chain planning tools are great at helping your company make smart decisions when it comes to the storage of goods. They help ensure you have the optimal level of stock and can report on the most cost-effective ways to store your supply. For example, you could see if you have enough storage capacity to produce a larger quantity of goods, allowing you to save by bulk buying supplies. The right tool will even ensure that the stock won’t run into shelf life issues while waiting on being distributed.


A capable supply chain planning tool will also help with the issues of distribution. Many tools will be able to calculate the most efficient way of delivering your products to the right place at the right time. This effect adds up over time as you save on fuel costs, employee time, or 3rd party distribution costs.


2 Handling Full Raw Material Use

While this won’t apply to all food and drink manufacturers, having a system that can handle raw materials that have to be fully used is of vital importance to some.


For example, meat and poultry producers have to kill an animal to be able to run their business. However, certain parts of the animal are likely to be in higher demand than others, leaving surplus material that needs to be used. Only using part of an animal would be a tremendous waste and the cost would quickly sink a company.


Good planning tools will use optimisation techniques to find a balance between the different parts. This will help ensure your company is getting the most out of its raw materials.


3 Controlled Batch Sizing

The old way of performing an annual review to determine fixed batch sizes isn’t good enough anymore. For companies looking to work efficiently, they need to utilise flexible batch sizing. Only by doing this can you account for the fluctuations that happen in both supply and demand at different times of the year.


Choosing a supply chain planning tool that offers optimisation is key if you want to have flexible batch sizing based on recent demand as well as address shelf life and storage options for your product.


Could your company benefit from implementing a supply chain planning tool? Our experts have worked in multiple different food and drink manufacturers, giving them the knowledge and experience to help you deliver meaningful change within your business. If you would like to find out more about how we could help then get in touch with a member of our team.

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