The Friday Report: December 7th, 2018

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Heineken Ensures Brexit Will Not Dry Out U.K. Pubs

With uncertainty regarding the impact of Brexit on the U.K. mounting, Dutch brewer Heineken NV is making sure that Great Britain does not run dry in its aftermath.  Collaborating with a British logistics company to locate extra storage space prior to the U.K. exit from the European Union on March 29th, 2019, Heineken is building up stored product and will continue this trend for the foreseeable future. 

Other producers of alcoholic beverages are taking similar actions, concerned that new terms for cross-border trade of goods will become problematic. 

Alcoholic beverage producers planned pre-emptively to avoid delays and supply chain disruptions that could be costly to their customers and result in diminished customer satisfaction rates. New barriers, systems and processes that may result from Brexit, even if minimal will require adaptation and change.  This is unlikely to happen overnight. The additional storage of goods also includes ingredients needed for production.  This is especially important as over 90 percent of the beer sold in the U.K. is brewed locally.

Clean Label Products Challenge Transportation and Logistics Providers

Today’s consumers are different than those of decades past.  Modern consumers are less loyal to brands, especially if the brand does not meet their personal standards or prove incapable of meeting their changing demands and preferences.  Consumers have been gravitating towards less processed, fresh food products.  As part of their shopping experience, modern consumers are more likely to read and even scrutinize labels and make purchasing decisions at least partially on label information.

As consumers vote with their dollars for foods that are processed and transported without artificial preservatives, food processing industry giants continue to expand their clean label offerings.  Clean label products tend to expire more quickly, necessitating that they get to market faster than goods using artificial preservatives.  This has increased the need for flexible, reliable refrigerated transportation.

Reducing product shelf life by reducing or eliminating artificial preservatives can push transportation and logistics providers to the extreme.  Lack of buffer time is problematic as transportation providers often encounter delays or disruptions that are beyond their control.  This can lead to more waste, more products at less than optimal quality and freshness as well as unhappy consumers.

Read more here.

Human-AI Partnerships are Changing the Nature of Work

Robotics, artificial intelligence, drones and machine learning….what do these emerging technologies mean for warehouse and supply chain industry environments?  Today’s emerging technologies are being used in combination with human workers to tackle tough challenges, difficult, dangerous work and produce new ideas for delivering services, products and processes that can benefit customers.

Here are a few examples:
  • Remote sensing and monitoring devices and technologies are often used across the cycle of production. Data from these devices is transmitted, stored and used in a myriad of ways such as to optimize operational processes for efficiency or safety and to predict equipment failure or breakdowns.
  • Sensors can be used in defect detection programs to improve product quality, reduce errors, resulting in greater customer satisfaction.
  • Equipment used in dirty, hazardous or cumbersome work conditions can be monitored using sensors, decreasing the need for human intervention that may result in unintentional injuries.
  • Drones are now used in warehouses to conduct cycle counts. Data is used in combination with human intelligence to make decisions and carry out processes dealing with inventory, ordering and other operations.

Read more here.

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