There has been much written about the impact of COVID on food processors and their supply chains. In our last post we discussed the impact the pandemic has been having on processors and especially their supply chains.
In this Part 2 of our survey of 240 processors in the United States, Canada, and around the world we take a closer look what they say they have learned, how they have changed and adapted, and, perhaps more importantly, what the changes that processors say are here to stay.
Supply chain disruptions made it to the top of the list of operational issues on their minds. More than one-third of U.S. and Canadian processors and more than on-half of international companies say they have been compelled to reevaluate their programs. Many aspects of their programs were mentioned as areas that need to be greatly improved in order to have more resiliency ahead of the next inevitable event. Most saw as a weakness their inability to react and adjust to shortages.
Processors told us many aspects of their supply chain management would need change to build that resiliency, but one overarching theme emerged – maybe it is time to back off from “just-in-time” strategies. Many found that while Just-in-Time kept them lead and efficient in normal times, it became a significant weakness during the pandemic. Most told us that they will be looking to keep more stock of raw material and end-products in an effort to add more “slack” in the system, to build flexibility and to buy time to respond in the case of the next emergency.
See what else processors told us in the Dec/Jan issue of Food Safety Magazine – available here.