Food producers, distributors, and retailers must follow strict processes to safeguard the food they handle. To better satisfy customer service expectations, these supply chain partners must apply inventory best practices to ensure SKUs are in the correct store or facility at the right time.
It’s not a game of chance when it comes to inventory placement. Instead, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers should employ data-driven analysis to guarantee that inventory is available and appropriately positioned so that orders can be fulfilled, and out-of-stocks are avoided.
The following guidelines will greatly assist you in correctly handling and storing food products in the supply chain
Use FIFO (First-in, First-out) storage: Because the first product brought into storage is also the first product chosen for an order, FIFO stock rotation ensures food freshness.
Use inventory positioning to your advantage: Food and beverage merchants often fulfil orders from warehouses or distribution centres in cartons, cases, or half cases. They can store merchandise in multi-level storage racks built to accommodate a range of products to conserve space.
Fulfilment as quickly as possible: Shippers should identify areas where time is wasted during fulfilment and deploy products and methods to speed up the process.
Keep an eye on important control points: Food adulteration can be avoided by restricting access to certain places and facilities. Prevent unauthorized access to important control points and keep track of who enters and exits these zones.
Create a plan for the Internet of Things (IoT): Implement Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) procedures and technology to manage inventory, including sensors on pallets and storage units, so you always know where your items are.
Make use of goods-to-person systems: These systems deliver items to warehouse employees, saving travel and searching time that adds to fulfilment time. When there are fewer footsteps, productivity and efficiency skyrocket.
Keep an eye on the temperature: Food is kept at the right temperature in the warehouse and throughout transit thanks to stringent controls.
Comply with all safety regulations: By doing a hazard analysis for your food facilities, you may focus on satisfying the Food Safety Modernization Act and other standards. A hazard analysis, in conjunction with a critical control point plan, identifies the strengths and vulnerabilities of the food supply chain. To improve compliance, use established procedures.
Have a system in place for tracking and tracing: In the event of a recall, keep a trackable history of materials and end products across the supply chain.
Select the appropriate storage medium: Improve picking times and storage density by utilizing carton flow, pallet flow, and slanted shelving. To enhance pick efficiency, separate slow-moving products from fast-moving products. Because most food products have a set shelf life, transferring things from storage to store shelves as rapidly as feasible helps to prevent deterioration.