a better solution to maintaining the cold chain
Compliance with FSMA’s rules, particularly Preventive Controls and Sanitary
Transportation, will require new procedures
and documentation to prove compliance.
Many companies use manual spreadsheets and
SharePoint files to manage their food safety
activities, which also includes verifying the
safe practices of their suppliers. Increasingly,
companies are turning to technology to help
them automate the management of their documentation and verify compliance. “When the
FDA knocks on your door, you have just 24
hours to produce required documentation that
can be up to two years old,” says Fields.
The emergence of on-demand services has created a need for grocers to process, store and
transport food faster than ever before. The
challenge, say observers, is getting it done effectively without sacrificing quality or food safety.
Doing so requires increased visibility throughout the supply chain—from food manufacturers to product shipment to customer fulfillment. To gain visibility, retailers must move
beyond simply gathering data from disparate
sources, and instead, analyze and create measurable insights throughout the organization.
“Confidence in existing systems to capture
these insights, however, is low among indus-
try leaders,” says Evins, noting that a recent
Penton study found that less than 12 percent
of retailers are currently confident about their
existing predictive systems. “Due to this lack
of confidence, many retailers are not leverag-
ing big data to their full advantage—making it
nearly impossible to keep up with today’s con-
New innovations in food monitoring
include embedded sensors that provide data
and actionable insights on the transportation
and quality of food as it continues its journey
down the supply chain. Evins says that if retail-
ers implement individual digital strategies the
true connected power of digital solutions, from
better merchandising planning to data mea-
suring product freshness on the road via sen-
sors, will be lost. “Incorporating the insights
from data from these sensors and other areas
contribute to a digital business core, which
will increase alignment throughout the supply
chain,” he says.
The ability to “track” and “trace” through
IoT-connected technology, note officials at
SAP, has increased the accuracy of cold chain
monitoring. They say with increased access to
real-time information and status of food along
the chain, grocers can begin to solve and, in
some cases, prevent problems with food quality before they begin. Evins says in earlier supply chain disruptions, a lack of real-time data
prevented retailers from monitoring for food
safety and containing any potential problem
before it could reach a critical mass. “Today,
innovations are decreasing costs throughout
the supply chain but also improving freshness
and safety for customers,” he notes.
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