Blogs

Find out what’s on the minds of the Supply Chain team in our latest blog posts

16 January 2019
Brexit risk rising Brexit is now only weeks away, scheduled for 29th March, but constitutional and diplomatic outcomes remain uncertain.  A Brexit deal exists, agreed by UK and EU negotiators, but this was rejected – emphatically - in the House Of Commons when put to a vote on 15th January.  In fact, it seems unlikely that any vision of Brexit can currently win a majority in Parliament...
05 January 2019
On 18th December 2018, DEFRA released its new Waste and Resources Strategy, which is the first policy alteration in England since 2011. A wide ranging strategy report The policy paper details how the government plans to migrate towards a circular economy. The new strategy is ambitious in its scope, seeking to address how we can best preserve material resources, minimise waste and pro...
03 January 2019
The start of each new year provides us with a fantastic opportunity to assess where we are and what we want to achieve in the year to come. It’s a time for locking down objectives and plotting a course to deliver them. While much of the focus is on how to do bigger and better things, a good proportion of what we end up doing is likely to be a build on last year’s activities. As ever, there a...
19 December 2018
This is the fourth and final blog in a series in which I’ve reviewed the supply chain trends we called out for 2018. So far, I’ve focused on:  The online-offline space invasion Reprioritising skills for success Crunch time for cyber-security  We projected that 2018 would be year of exploration and new partnerships, driven by low-margins and the need to get mor...
12 December 2018
New UK traffic data has shown a further increase in the overall distance being travelled in 2017, with worrying implications for our supply chains. But there is other evidence that younger people are no longer in love with their cars. James has investigated the data and here are his insights. Jam tomorrow? Data from the Department For Transport shows that GB road traffic reached record le...
10 December 2018
Following increasing legislative pressures on businesses to improve the sustainability and green credentials of their supply chains, the race for sustainability is beginning to speed up. For many organisations, the strength of sustainability strategies is the difference between a competitive advantage and a laggard mentality.  An increasing appetite From HSBC’s recent Navigator Survey ...
06 December 2018
This is the third in a series of blogs in which I review how the supply chain trends we picked out at the start of the year have played out. This week, I’ll be looking at cyber-security. This is a bit trickier than the others to assess as businesses tend not to shout too loudly about developments (or lack of them) in their cyber-security strategy, but a lack of exposure is certainly not an indi...
06 December 2018
IGD’s Chief Economist, James Walton, explores potential availability issues and stockholding in a post-Brexit world. The Final Countdown Brexit is scheduled for the end of March 2019 – now just four months away. Even with so little time left to run, businesses still have no certainty over Brexit outcomes, which may be anything from “anti-climax” to “severe disruption”. If the exit deal...
28 November 2018
We hear a lot about businesses making efforts to work closer together in order to 'uncover mutual benefits' or 'create cost savings', but what about the benefits for people? It’s no secret that collaboration is a core part of any successful business approach, but making it a core part of a personal development programme may be less obvious. Suzannah Murphy, Supply Chain Analyst at IGD, explores...
28 November 2018
At the start of 2018, we picked out four supply chain trends we expected to gather momentum over the course of the year. I’m reviewing how they’ve developed, and this week, I’ll look at Reprioritising skills for success. This signposts the growing influence and impact of technology on the businesses and individuals that make up the food and grocery industry. We projected that technology ...
22 November 2018
At the beginning of the year, we picked out four supply chain trends we expected to gather significant momentum in 2018. As we approach the end of the year, the time has come to review how accurate our predictions were. There’s more information on each in this infographic . Here’s a quick reminder of the four we put forward: The online-offline space invasion Reprioritising skills ...
14 November 2018
We held our annual Supply Chain Summit yesterday, with a wealth of great speakers from the food and grocery industry alongside academics and thought leaders, solution providers and a colleague from the automotive industry. Over the coming weeks we will create some summary reports and case studies, but here are my initial reflections on the day, grouped by some key themes that I took away. ...
07 November 2018
  This week, IGD published its keynote piece of supply chain research for 2018, Supply Chains for Growth . It’s a fantastic insight into the future characteristics of our industry’s supply chains and an analysis of the response needed. Kudos to my colleagues Alistair and Chris for a sterling job.   Supply Chains for Growth outlines the elevated impact that a supply chain team ca...
31 October 2018
The shopping environment is changing rapidly, as is the external environment which affects our supply chains. This creates a significant opportunity for the supply chain function to develop new solutions, processes and consumer offerings. IGD has been looking more closely at how organisations can capture this opportunity, and I’m pleased to share a summary of our findings with you. The full ...
25 October 2018
Connected washing machines and a robot delivering gin. These were just two of the unexpected things I experienced at last week’s IGD Digital Commerce event. I attended the second day of this visionary event, and I took away quite a few insights and reflections from the day. You’ll be aware that the IGD Supply Chain Summit is coming soon, and I’m sure that will be just as insightful a d...
18 October 2018
How is your performance currently measured? If, like me, you have a mix of different objectives, each contributing to a different part of the organisation’s wider strategy, with several tangible deliverables helping you achieve them, you’re in good company. It’s not very exciting, but that’s the reality for most. A better question might be how will your performance be measured in future? ...
03 October 2018
Alan Hayes shares his thoughts on three core issues that will help our supply chain teams and functions be better prepared for change. This follows on neatly from last week’s blog, in which James Walton explored whether Brexit and other forces of change could be the prompt for some fundamental rethinking of our supply chains. Forces of change Competition, technology, shopper preferences, ec...
26 September 2018
James describes some short and long term forces of change affecting FMCG supply chains, and explores whether Brexit could be the prompt for some fundamental rethinking. Approaches to Brexit Brexit is looming closer and the approaching deadline is focusing minds in FMCG businesses, in both the UK and the EU. If, as now seems likely, Brexit occurs at the end of March 2019 without a trade...
25 September 2018
Alistair, our head of supply chain insight, examines the major developments in today’s supply chains and reveals his favourite innovation. 1. New tools, data sources and automation are creating extra demands and opportunities This means we must make decisions on new technology more quickly than ever. Do we invest now or wait for the next big thing? How do we integrate systems swiftly and ...
19 September 2018
Alex’s latest blog explores how supply chains can create business value by “bringing the outside in”. Brexit, Blockchain, Big data, Gamification…. These are all terms that didn’t exist just four or five years ago when talking about current trends in supply chain. For many, these terms are now the new norm. What about HoloLens , Geo-targeting or Dynamic Traffic Support ...
30 August 2018
In recent years, smart warehousing has been brought into the mainstream by ecommerce businesses like Amazon and Ocado. These facilities are a world away from the warehouses I am familiar with: think large buildings filled with lots of racking and forklift trucks. Not very inspiring! Smart warehouses bring together a variety of complementary technologies, all of which work in harmony to receiv...
22 August 2018
Brexit is on everyone’s mind in the UK and elsewhere – and so it should be. But with so many conflicting messages flying around, it’s difficult to keep track of what’s going on. And even when you are up to date, do you really understand the implications? My colleague James recently wrote a report for IGD Supply Chain Analysis about trading after Brexit, so with these thoughts in mind, ...
15 August 2018
Supply Chain Capability Manager, Alex Edge, summarises the recent report, How to build a data-driven culture and explores the implications for skills in supply chain. Birthday boy My 31st birthday has just passed, and with that, my 15th anniversary working in supply chain. I’ve been processing data throughout my entire career, making decisions based upon thousands of columns of Excel ...
08 August 2018
Alistair Balderson summarises four IGD Supply Chain Analysis reports, so you can “bring the outside in” and give your annual planning a boost. It’s August, so for many in our industry that means not only holiday time (if you’re lucky), but also annual planning time. A wonderful opportunity to step back from the day-to-day supply chain challenges to think about the big questions. Questions...
01 August 2018
James Walton explores this cutting-edge technology, running through the concept and the current reality. In particular he looks at a variety of ways it could improve supply chains in coming years. We want Moore In 1965, computing pioneer Gordon Moore suggested that the density of transistors (switches) in an integrated circuit (microchip) would double every two years, ten years – this is ...