Epicor: 10 trends transforming food and beverage manufacturers
With customers demanding fresher food with a smaller carbon footprint, it’s important to adapt and limit the distance food travels by sourcing local ingredients.
Consumers are caring for the environment by reducing single-use straws, water bottles and takeaway coffee cups. Epicor recommends that sustainable product packaging is used to minimize waste.
With animal welfare concerns causing people to limit their meat and dairy intakes in their diets, there is an importance to use gentler meat and dairy production practices.
With over 10mn tonnes of food wasted in the UK annually, it is becoming essential to companies that there is clearer product labelling and food wastage is tracked.
- Largest software companies: Epicor
- Epicor launches newest version of flagship Epicor ERP software
- Epicor’s Prophet 21 increases Jergens’ Productivity by 30%
- Read the latest issue of Supply Chain Digital here!
Educating shoppers on the necessary steps to assure safety and quality in the ethical status and traceability of their food is key.
Through the use of social media, celebrities and influencers can create a demand for products overnight. This means that staying on top of the latest trends and monitoring your supply chain is critical in case ingredients accelerates in popularity.
UK sales of food free from ingredients such as dairy, nuts and gluten rose by £230mn ($295mn) in 2017. It is advised that special diets are created to make it easier for customers. Epicor also recommends that free-from options are clearly marked and production lines are free from cross-contamination.
Diets such as keto and paleo created new markets for innovative products such as protein balls. It is recommended to source natural, local and diet-friendly ingredients for products. It is worth keeping an eye on food substitutions that could affect businesses’ supply chains.
By observing what is popular worldwide, it could be worth trialling new flavours from around the world and adding them to recipes.
Offer pre-made meals that helps shoppers to quickly prepare a healthy meal. With people working longer hours and having less time to cook, consumers are in need of quicker options.
For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.