Sir, In light of your article ‘Total Recall’, it should be noted the digital integration of suppliers and even their subcontractors with retailers is vital if a supermarket wants to have more control over its supply chain. Consumer demand for social responsibility and ethical business operations means that businesses need to provide greater visibility and transparency into the origins of their products.
Recalls are unfortunately inevitable, but what’s important is the efficiency with which they are dealt with. When a retailer has the capability to immediately identify the source of a contaminated product and determine if there are others in the supply chain and where are they heading to, they can quickly and confidently complete the required recall.
Retailers and manufacturers need to utilise solutions such as serialisation to enable the aggregation of invaluable data including location, source and times of issue. Armed with this granular knowledge retailers will have the authority and confidence to know exactly where and when an issue was caused.
Through cloud technology, retailers can analyse data and make the supply chain better at condition-monitoring products, such as for perishables goods, and can be alerted if there is a chance that food could have been subject to contamination, whether it is because of problems with livestock, fluctuations in temperatures within transportation, incorrect cooking methods or refrigeration issues.
Despite recent research showing 80% of manufacturers asked stated that it was of significant importance to have visibility of risks affecting supply, just 25% have achieved this. In a bid to bridge this gap, more and more manufacturers are starting to look at using internet of things sensors and devices so that they can then have real-time dashboards of activities in their production line. However, with more recalls being announced, the industry must take action now.
Alaster Purchase, corporate marketing director, Zetes