SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGIES FOR PERISHABLE GOODS
Perishable goods are goods that spoil within days or weeks. These goods are mostly groceries, dairy products, poultry products etc. Perishable goods may be placed in cold storage from the outset but they cannot be kept in stores forever. Most perishable goods are bought for their fresh looks; hardly would anyone buy a stale farm product.
There seems to be an issue. The farm has to supply the wholesaler who in turn supplies the retail outlets. What if it stays too long with the wholesaler, would the product still be suitable for consumption? Issues like these come up when perishable products are in question. The manufacturer (farmer) has to know that the credibility and acceptability of his products are based on the quality he brings to the market. Some supply chain strategies for perishable goods would be discussed subsequently.
First, direct store delivery is still the better option. The supply chain is not always very helpful. Though it is the line of product distribution from the manufacturer to the retailer but it is not advantageous for perishable goods like grocery, milk etc. In the instance, the product may stay too long in the distributor’s hand, making it spoil. This is the reason for direct store delivery. Direct store delivery is basically the delivery of goods to the retail outlet directly from the manufacturer. This system leaves the distribution center out of the equation. This system is largely preferred for the fast transfer it gives to the distribution of goods. For instance, the farm does not have to work with a wholesaler who finds a storage center to keep the product until he can get demand for it. The farm would get the grocery store’s order and delivery appropriately.
The major reason for the direct store delivery is the speed at which goods move in the supply chain. Perishable goods are goods that spoil quickly for instance fish, meat, milk, grocery majorly etc. these goods have a short life span and they can’t be changing hands and changing stores incessantly. Direct store delivery helps the retailer to supply fresh product from the source to the final consumer. It interests the average consumer to find out that the products on display are fresh from the farm or from the manufacturer’s factory. Fresh products have the enticing look and feel that contrasts with that of stale products.
Second, if worse should come to worse and the normal supply chain would be used, the distributors should be reliable ones. This is due to the fact that many distributors don’t care about what happens to the products. The manufacturer (farmer) should continuously be on the lookout for reputable distributors who would ensure proper storage and prompt delivery to retailers.
Third, the goal of both the manufacturer and the retailer should be “as less hands as possible.” By this, the perishable product is delivered as soon as possible and fresh product is available for stocking in the retail or grocery store.