Solving Food Supply Chain Problems

This article first appears on Food Manufacturing

Product shortages, shipping delays, and safety concerns have made it difficult to get products from nearly all manufacturers to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The food supply chain has been hit particularly hard; for example, one McKinsey report revealed that over one-third of pork and beef processing capacity became unavailable around July 2020.

Although the ship has begun righting itself slowly, recent food and beverage supply chain challenges should serve as a reminder that there’s always room to improve critical food infrastructure. A steady and secure food supply chain can help build back consumer confidence while strengthening the economy. With consumer spending expected to grow by 7.6% this year and another 3.9% in 2022, food processors and manufacturers need more readily available products to capitalize on increasing demand.

To minimize further disruptions and strengthen critical food infrastructure, businesses in the food supply chain should consider investing in improvements that support resiliency. Using insights from a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis can lend insights into where to focus attention. What is the biggest weakness in operations that could threaten business should conditions take another turn for the worse?

Overcoming Food Supply Chain Problems

Businesses will have different gaps to fill, but a few investments can help companies overcome food and beverage supply chain challenges across the board. Investing in equipment, for example, is the most apparent — many companies in the industry are turning to robotics and automation to reduce operating costs, increase food safety, and improve throughput. Such investments often occur alongside renewed talent acquisition efforts focused on recruiting workers who can leverage modern technology, equipment, and strategies.

However, one of the greatest challenges behind any improvement effort is funding, which is especially true amid the pandemic. Market conditions remain uncertain, the cost of raw materials is still on the rise, and increasing spending to ensure employee safety doesn’t always make businesses in the food supply chain attractive investment candidates.

But funding options are available to help companies improve critical food infrastructure and build more resilience into the food supply chain. Consider the following:

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About the Author

Toni Scott is the Managing Principal at Morrison. To get in touch with Toni, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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