Industry risks losing cash through lack of knowledge of supply chain technologies

Meat firms risk losing cash as a result of a lack of knowledge of supply chain technologies, including packaging innovations, according to research just published.

The MA dissertation paper supply chain research inside the red meat industry, produced by Stephen Brown of Coventry University, stated: The suggested lack of knowledge about technology in SCM [supply chain management] should be addressed as the data offered some correlation between business turnover and use of technology in the supply chain.

A recommendation would be to ask more questions to see if other types of technology, such as vacuum packing as a method of maintaining shelf-life throughout the supply chain, were being used. Alternatively, stock management systems were not asked about and this has been suggested as a type of technology that is available.

Separately from technology issues, meat suppliers were being prompted to review their supply chains in an effort to pinpoint and maximise returns amid wildly fluctuating cattle market prices, Brown concluded.

A suggested issue from the data is that high price fluctuation with all sizes of organisation seems to be a reason to conduct a review of supply chains, the study stated.

With cheaper-priced food, the preference inside the UK maintaining low prices when procuring product is very important. Data gathered suggests that prices in recent years have begun to decrease in value as both carcasses and boxed beef products [have] seen value decline.

His paper highlighted supplier concerns to improve margins as returns go down, but retail prices stay high.

Quality control issues were also a core impetus to review supply chains, Brown noted.

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