The Role of Inventory Management in the Food Industry

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The food industry is somewhat different than other industries with large inventories. The inventory stock in the food industry is often perishable, which changes the way food companies manage inventory. To operate a successful food company, you need the right food inventory software in place to manage the supply chain, delivery of the product, and the safety of the goods for consumers.

Safety standards in the food industry

The food industry is a very regulated industry. These regulations keep us safe and ensure that we are consuming food that adheres and complies with health standards. There are many complex processes in place to keep the food industry accountable for their inventory stock.

Food safety plays a growing concern in this industry. For example, food poisoning impacts millions of people every year. This can be a result of rotten inventory stock, hygiene issues with food preparers and in the preparation facility. There can be problems with rodents or outbreaks of foodborne diseases such as listeria.

Moreover, there have been recent cases of sabotaged fruit, where sewing needles have been placed inside strawberries in Australia. This has posed a huge threat to that industry and heightened measures have been put in place to ensure safety, including metal detector scanners and heightened surveillance to protect and manage their food inventory.

Inventory management software supports the food industry

New technology is supporting better monitoring and tracking of food through cloud-based inventory management systems. With a strong inventory management solution, you can:

  • Optimise food safety and can decrease food health-risk problems
  • Make processes more efficient and reduce the chances of perishable goods going to waste
  • Get food products onto shelves quicker so the product is still ripe for customers
  • Optimise transit and packaging processes that can reduce costs

Moreover, inventory management systems can communicate with members of your supply chain and can yield access to information about the products in real-time. This provides heightened visibility and allows you to track certain shipments should a problem arise. There is a significant amount of data being shared that can provide insight for safety, shipping, and overstock issues.

Finding the right inventory management solution can also help you balance your stock more effectively. If you have an excess of inventory stock, then you risk it going off and being wasted. However, if you do not have enough food, you will risk losing customers and wholesalers when you cannot fulfil the orders. Inventory management can track the history of goods sold and can help you forecast for future demand. It can run algorithms to determine what levels are acceptable and compile a ream of data to yield inventory stock optimisation.

Moreover, these solutions can help plan your warehouse. Depending on the movement of certain food items, including temperature controlled ones, the system can help you gauge where certain products should be located. With popular items or highly perishable items having accessible shelf space, this means they can get on the truck faster.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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