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Post-Brexit animal meds

Sir, The publication of the government’s ‘no deal’ Brexit planning notices is to be welcomed, but businesses remain very concerned about the lack of sufficient time to execute a smooth EU Exit process without interruption to the availability of vital veterinary medicines.

The production and supply of veterinary medicines is totally dependent on complex international supply chains that must continue to function effectively after Brexit. Raw materials will need to arrive at manufacturing sites and veterinary medicines will need to be transported across borders to meet market requirements. Any border delays, additional complex processes or increased costs will risk medicines availability for UK vets, farmers and all our animals.

Gaynor Hillier, chair, NOAH

The internet of things

Sir, As per your article on Sainsbury’s checkout-free store, supermarkets are increasingly embracing state-of-the-art tech to stay ahead of online competition.

One of the few ways physical stores can build competitive differentiation is through IoT (internet of things) technology. From in-store apps to online chatbots and in-store tablets, IoT improves the digital experience for customers. IoT sensors can even be used to track customer footpaths which help retailers decide on an efficient in-store layout.

In the future, shoppers can expect to see shelf-stacking robots fitted with smart cameras to scan aisles to identify misplaced items. In-store apps is only the beginning.

Abel Smit, IoT consulting & customer success director, Tech Data Europe

Forecasting is crucial

Sir, CEBR’s prediction of increased food prices highlights an issue of growing significance in the grocery supply chain: forecasting.

Forecasting demand accurately and consistently is something many retailers struggle to achieve when supply is fairly free and ready. However, in times of scarcity, forecasting becomes even more important. Inconsistent or inaccurate forecasting exacerbates the problems within every supply chain.

Yes, forecasting is difficult, but the industry has the information and the capability.

Guy Cuthbert, CEO & CTO, Atheon Analytics