Blogs

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

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 recei...
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 ...
31 July 2018
The phrase “opportunities and risks” is used widely in trade and mainstream media, most often associated with challenging situations such as Brexit or a proposed merger. I often feel that commentators who use this phrase think that their opportunities and risks are synonymous, and that businesses and their management teams should be equally adept at dealing with both.  Let’s unpick each of t...
25 July 2018
We’re embarking on a piece of research to uncover how the quality of our relationships impacts our ability to do our jobs. In my experience, relationships matter as much in the working environment as they do outside of it, but we’re keen to hear your views . The new reality With disruptive events on the increase, simply put, there’s more chance of something going wrong. This puts mor...
18 July 2018
Supply Chain Capability Manager, Alex Edge, explores some potential future options for learning and development in the food and grocery industry. Gamification: “The application of elements of game playing into a business environment” Gamification elements have long been adopted in the food and grocery industry to help shoppers engage with brands, raise awareness and increase loyalty. Take...
18 July 2018
Last week, IGD hosted its first Hackathon event as part of the charitable Reducing Wasted Miles initiative. We brought together 70 attendees from a whole range of organisations involved in the supply chain: retailers, manufacturers, solution providers, academics and third-party logistics firms. Mixing collaboration and problem solving Our aim in bringing this diverse group together was to...
12 July 2018
Head of Supply Chain Insight, Alistair Balderson, takes a look at highlights from IGD’s recent report series, Vulnerabilities in the global supply chain. All change, please We are often told that change is always with us. The usual quote is from British Victorian statesman Benjamin Disraeli: “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” Although I prefer the version my son used as his Thoug...
04 July 2018
Our ShopperVista team has just published its Shoppers of the Future research, the latest report in IGD’s Futures series, which focuses on the future of the food and grocery industry. The report identifies an emerging group of ‘Influencer Shoppers’ that currently represent around 25% of the total UK shopper population. They are set to replace baby boomers as the generation with the most purch...
28 June 2018
We recently spent some time with Don Brenchley, the Head of Industry Strategy at LLamasoft, to understand more about the concept of Supply Chain Design. Supply chain networks are getting more complex every year, and LLamasoft is at the forefront of solution providers working to bring advanced technology to bear on the topic. IGD: What are the key factors driving change in the grocery supply ...
28 June 2018
We recently launched this November’s IGD Supply Chain Summit . Over the next few months, we’ll be looking at different aspects of the day and how you can get the most out of it. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you three things that I’m looking forward to most, focusing on technology. A view from the top This year, the Summit’s theme is Supply chains for growth. More than searc...
20 June 2018
Sustainability & Strategy Manager Alan Hayes considers how the role of leadership is changing in the food and grocery industry, and how we can use leadership within supply chain to increase agility. Messy change I was reminded recently by a colleague that change is difficult in the beginning, messy in the middle, and glorious in the end. This echoes the message that “ even successful chan...
13 June 2018
Alex outlines Co-op’s supply chain priorities for the year ahead. Co-op held its supplier conference in Manchester on 6th June 2018. The retailer provided an update on its business and supply chain strategies and initiatives for the next three years. The conference was an opportunity for Co-op to address the following objectives: Share an understanding of the previous year’s business p...
13 June 2018
IGD attended the massive Walmart Shareholders’ Week in Bentonville recently and learnt about some fascinating new initiatives from the world’s largest retailer. I’ve picked out a few key points for supply chain professionals to be aware of. Change while in motion / partnerships FAST unloader and robot shelf scanner People Change while in motion, and partnerships Walmart’s...
05 June 2018
Chris Tyas is the Global Head of Supply Chain for Nestlé, an influential senior leader in our industry who travels extensively to gather and spread best practices. We were fortunate to secure some of his time on the phone recently. He outlined his thoughts on today’s supply chain challenges for Nestlé and the industry more widely, as well as sharing some successful initiatives from the world...
31 May 2018
We’ve just launched a new report in our flagship report series: IGD Futures , focusing on the development of the online channel. It combines input from industry and IGD’s team of experts in online, technology and supply chain. The research summarises the key features of the online store of the future and what this will mean for food and grocery businesses. Innovation will drive increased ...
16 May 2018
For many shoppers, the issue with buying products online is having to be at home for the delivery time slot. Unattended in-home delivery eliminates that need, and even remembers to put your ice cream in the freezer. In the last year or so, we’ve noticed a real trend in unattended in-home deliveries. It’s not something I’d have ever thought possible five years ago, but if there’s anything I’v...
09 May 2018
Automation in European grocery logistics is no longer an added extra; we believe that there is a more urgent need to invest, and we wanted to look more closely. I recently wrote a report with my colleague James Walton, IGD’s Chief Economist, and he reviewed some of the economic factors that are pushing businesses in this direction. It is clear that shoppers across Europe are in a good p...
02 May 2018
Significant challenges threaten the profitability of the UK’s food and grocery industry. The transportation of goods between businesses, and increasingly onto consumers, is a major concern for many organisations. Transportation is one of many challenges that could be more successfully addressed by businesses working together, rather than in isolation. IGD’s recent transport data-sharing pi...
25 April 2018
Supply chain is a key factor driving a rush of new corporate deals and partnerships in the U.S. and Canada, as grocery retailers look to compete with Amazon, Walmart and each other. My colleague Stewart Samuel has just written an overview of some recent corporate activity from retailers in North America, published on our sister service Retail Analysis. The report is now also available on S...
02 March 2018
With less time available for training than ever before, coupled with shrinking supply chain teams, we uncover the potential solutions that businesses across the FMCG industry are exploring. Alex Edge, Supply Chain Insight Manager at IGD, tells us more… In our 2016 research on skills in the supply chain, 40% of respondents said that their current talent management and training provision was...
13 February 2018
IGD and WRAP recently published their new package of resources for food companies to improve food waste measurement. Alan Hayes explains more about the collaboration. Progress on measuring food waste Food waste measurement isn’t standardised, with different sectors and companies using different approaches. This makes benchmarking very difficult. Only a handful of companies report on ...