Blogs

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

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 ...
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...