When pandemic pressures initially hit in 2020, supply chains seemed relatively safe. But as infections accelerated and governments reacted, suppliers across the globe were thrown into turmoil, with over 60% of businesses reporting supply chain disruptions.
Meanwhile, in the food and beverage industry, the combination of tough operating restrictions and reduced supply access created a perfect storm. Some markets saw an 80% reduction in open rates, and while some businesses managed to reopen, recent data shows that 10% of all U.S. restaurants have permanently closed.
For those businesses still left standing, there’s a growing need for future-proof strategies that account for evolving supply chains, no matter their source, scope, or duration.
Broken links: Analyzing the pandemic impact
It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 crisis precipitated one of the biggest shocks to global supply chains over the last few decades. The impact began in China and Southeast Asia; regions where many businesses are heavily reliant on both their production and supplies. Once they locked down, food and beverage providers dependent on these areas for products such as food packaging and safety items suddenly found familiar supply chains broken — and few options to replace them.
As a result, many restaurants found themselves partially or entirely shuttered, moving supply chain concerns backwards down the chain. Demand dropped even as supplies began to rebound, leaving middle-chain manufacturers, warehouse operations, and logistics companies treading a difficult line between securing new supplies and running the risk of costly overstocking.
With many countries now making the move into “next normal” frameworks, food and beverage firms must find a way to reconcile the need for steady and stable supply with more agile inventory mandates.
The future of supply chain strategy
To future-proof supply chain strategy, three factors are critical for food and beverage businesses:
From potential pandemic repeats to global weather disasters, reliance on single-source solutions puts companies at risk. To help ensure robust and reliable supply chain futures, businesses must analyze current processes and identify areas for improvement.
Visibility and efficiency are now top priorities for post-pandemic supply chains. In practice, this equates to greater overall accessibility that allows businesses to track supplies from the moment they leave producer to when they arrive in warehouses or stores.
Food and beverage companies must embrace the increased need for autonomous, digitized supply chain processes. Sixty-four percent of executives expect automation to accelerate due to the pandemic, by minimizing the need for manual processes to reduce error rates and improve overall productivity.
How Sage X3 ERP can help
Sage X3 supply chain ERP can help food and beverage firms both keep up with demand and stay ahead of the curve. Key features include:
- Purchase control
With streamlined supplier and product category management, supplier invoice entry and multi-level signature management, your business can reduce purchase complexity and keep costs down.
- Inventory management
Gain complete visibility into inventory location, stock balances, quality control, replenishment requirements and import tracking to ensure you have the right products on-site when you need them most.
- Sales solutions
Sage X3 integrates with sales team solutions to provide accurate pricing, discount data, quotes, contracts, invoices, and inventory inquiries—so you can prepare to navigate a supply chain future that relies on seamless interaction between business departments.
- Customer service integration
Having the right products at the right time isn’t enough to stay competitive. Consumers now expect real-time response to inquiries that leverage historic data, current pricing information, and existing stock levels.
- Team collaboration
Integrated document workflows with Sage X3 ERP empower on-demand document creation and revision and make it possible to assign document access by user, role, and project-team levels with robust tag management.
Forging a flexible future
The future of supply chains is flexible. Food and beverage businesses can no longer afford to rely on single-source suppliers. Instead, companies need supply chain models that both meet current needs and help future-proof procurement and product management against the potential of new worldwide disruptions.
See what Sage X3 can do for your food and beverage business. Request a demo today.
This article is sponsored by Sage. Its appearance does not necessarily indicate that AME endorses products and services mentioned here.