“The State of the Industry: fragmenting demand, new competitors, disruptive tech, regulatory changes, fluctuating supply and evolving channels.”
– Rich Kauffeld, PWC LLC
Kauffeld introduced these 6 challenges to the audience at this year’s TPA Supply Chain Conference’s Opening Session.
Despite this list, the overall tone of the conference was just as the headline suggests – the industry is better off when we understand each other’s needs and leverage our peer’s expertise.
At the conference, retail store attendees discussed the marriage between click + collect, and direct-to-consumer options with traditional brick and mortar ‘cores’. Rick Keyes, of Meijer, Inc., later shared that instead of being confined by traditional distribution, supply chain improvements this year had benefitted their stores by providing more variety for delivery. He concluded, “Defining that ‘last mile’ [is] what’s been a force of change for us.”
Other sessions focused on the partnership between ingredient suppliers, manufacturers and distributors before products are even near the shelves.
A clear takeaway from an FMI-hosted session on FSMA Best Practices was that each company needs unanimous cross-departmental buy-in to be successful at implementing change. In a later session about Highly Transparent Supply Chains, Lucelena Angarita of Subway, shared that the mutually beneficial partnership between her vendors and receivers had the impact of over 1.5 million dollars in cost avoidance.
At the end of the day, consumers are asking for transparency, authenticity and trust. TPA sessions enforced that industry-wide collaboration is needed now more than ever. As one panelist put it:
“We feel that this is the right way to go, because we can see that it’s what’s going to be asked of us in the future.”
First American colleagues enjoyed learning about the challenges and successes the food + beverage supply chain has tackled this year. We are proud to be a part of the industry’s collaboration by providing the equipment finance expertise your business requires.