The food supply chain is fraught with one major peril, decomposition. Foods that exceed their expiry dates are a loss for the company. This underlines the importance of having procedures in place to safeguard the food and speed up deliveries in the supply chain. 3PL partners in charge of a food supply chain need to implement best practices and other procedures to ensure that the goods are delivered to the right port within the right time.
Maintaining the inventory warehouse requires careful planning. They need to apply data and analytics to improve inventory positioning and order fulfillment. There are several ways you can work with a 3PL warehouse distribution company for safeguarding your food products.
FIFO, short for first-in and first-out, is an invaluable principle in supply chains dealing with food. Implementation of FIFO stock rotation policies ensures that the food remains fresh. Under this principle, the stocks that arrive first at the warehouse storage facility will be the stocks that are first to leave when the order comes in. As a result, the stocks sent out will still be fresh with enough time to go.
There can be several areas in the order fulfilment process which consumes a lot of time. Bottlenecks might be another issue. It is essential that these areas and issues are identified as quickly as possible. Once identified, the proper fixes and procedures should be implemented. Faster means of transport should be chosen wherever possible. Speeding up the order fulfilment process will reduce the likelihood of delivering foods that have gone bad.
Utilize Inventory Positioning
The position of the stocks in the storage warehouse can greatly impact the speed with which orders are fulfilled. Multilevel storage racks are certainly a benefit. However, they should be supported by tools and equipment that make it easy to access the goods for order fulfilment. The position of the inventory within the warehouse needs to be chosen with care as well.
The Internet of Things is a revolution in technology. For warehousing and distribution, IoT holds immense potential. IoT involves the use of sensors and other technologies to gather data. In the case of a warehouse, these sensors can be fitted into the freight boxes and storage areas to monitor the temperature and other aspects of the food products. Sensors can also be attached to the storage units, racks and pallets.
This way, it becomes extremely easy to know where each product is located as well as the condition it is in. Foods rapidly approaching their expiry dates can be quickly brought to the forefront and dispatched. Special care procedures can be implemented for those foods which are losing their freshness. This is useful even when the freight is in move. Sensors can keep track of the goods throughout the supply chain.
Control the Temperature
Temperature is easily the most important aspect of storing food products. All food products must be maintained at the right temperature to preserve their freshness. As such, the warehouse must have proper refrigeration and temperature control technologies in place. The temperature must be regulated during transport as well.
3PL companies like 20Cube place special emphasis on the care given to the freight as it moves through the supply chain. This is applicable to food freight as well.