Blogs

Find out what’s on the minds of the supply chain team in our latest blog posts

29 October 2019
E-commerce is growing in almost all markets, presenting opportunities for retailers and technology firms to innovate and provide faster, safer, cost-effective and environment-friendly delivery alternatives in both the last and middle mile space. However, with unique opportunities come not only operational challenges but also numerous and evolving regulations. To date, the tendency from regul...
29 October 2019
Automated micro-fulfillment has emerged as one of the key trends in the US grocery ecommerce channel. We recently visited a site with Takeoff Technologies, the leading company in this space with multiple sites operational, to see its model in action. Range of fulfillment models The challenge of developing a profitable model for grocery ecommerce as it scales is underpinning much of the in...
22 October 2019
We recently published the first in a three-part series benchmarking the building blocks of industry collaboration. To support the work, we gathered the views of over 200 global respondents from mainly commercial and supply chain roles. In this blog, I’ll explore a selection of the key findings. We asked respondents to benchmark their business’s capability in 13 areas. We grouped these into s...
17 October 2019
The latest instalment of IGD’s annual supply chain event took place this week. This was my fourth Supply Chain Summit and it was another great day! Here’s a recap in case you missed it. Customer-centric – the business imperative IGD’s CEO, Susan Barratt, opened on the main stage, setting the scene by delivering a few clear messages. The one that resonated with me most is “You must shape ...
25 September 2019
Not a week goes by without me reading a news story focused on the application of technology by a food and consumer goods business. Most are presented as revolutionary, with the removal of cost, improved productivity and greater efficiency commonly claimed benefits. Of course, some will do just that and the business that has invested will be very happy with the results. Others won't have the a...
14 August 2019
Logistics is evolving fast, with new technologies supporting the emergence of solutions that are disrupting the status quo. In many markets, a small number of large players dominate, holding a large portion of the overall pie, with the size of operators’ fleets and a track-record on delivering (literally) helping them secure and maintain their advantage and win long-term contracts. But with s...
07 August 2019
My colleague, Stewart Samuel, recently published a report outlining Walmart’s digitisation strategy across its store network in the US, having attended Walmart’s Shareholders Week. The event detailed several examples of how Walmart is looking to drive supply chain efficiencies in stores through digitisation and automation of previously manual activities. What became immediately apparent was ...
29 July 2019
You may have recently seen a large red display unit advertising Tony’s Chocolonely in Sainsbury’s stores; you may have also seen a red shelf tray on a gondola end advertising the brand as well. Why is Tony’s Chocolonely, a very recent UK launch, getting this kind of support from Sainsbury’s? As well as its success in continental Europe, it comes down to the brand’s mission to eradicate slaver...
24 July 2019
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the UK government’s independent forecasting body, has issued a new edition of its regular Fiscal Risks Report . This includes interesting content, relevant to grocery businesses. Chapter Nine examines climate change as a threat to economic performance and fiscal outcomes. Specific risks referred to include: Ecosystem impacts, especially ...
17 July 2019
As more food and consumer goods businesses pledge their allegiance to future zero-carbon operations, how realistic is it that the industry, and logistics more generally, will reach this new standard? Many countries have committed to being carbon neutral by a specific year – the UK, France and Sweden penciling in 2050 for carbon neutrality. More progressive targets have been set by countries i...
31 May 2019
Customer-centric organisations are built around the customer. They measure success from the point of consumption back to the point of creation ; they are functional and organisationally agnostic. While the phrase is becoming increasingly mainstream, truly customer-centric organisations are few and far between. Customer-centricity isn’t easy to get right. An example that encapsulates this ha...
02 May 2019
Interesting data is found in the World Bank report Connecting To Compete - 2018 edition - which gives a nation-by-nation view of international logistics performance and how it has changed over time. This study is based on responses to a complex online survey, carried out over September 2017 to February 2018 using a sample of 869 logistics professionals from 108 countries. Note that the ...
01 May 2019
With part two of our Supply Chain Leaders series published last week, I thought it would be a great time to explore further how you can embrace the empirical approach in your journey to supply chain excellence. Our Supply Chain Leaders work has improved our understanding of how supply chain is changing, and the attributes needed to succeed. The first attribute explored in depth is empirica...
16 April 2019
We’ve just published our  first report  in IGD’s Supply Chain Leaders series, reflecting the views of over 100 senior figures from more than 60 businesses around the world.   The survey was run to help us get a better understanding of food and consumer goods supply chains from those who know them best: the people who actually run them. Our respondents reflected a wide range of job titles, inc...
03 April 2019
Waste valorisation describes re-processing of wasted or discarded materials to create something new, which has market value. Waste valorisation activities include recycling (eg: turning old newspapers into toilet tissue) and waste-to-energy (eg: turning spent cooking oil into motor fuel). Simple re-use of products (eg: washing and refilling an empty glass milk bottle) may not count as val...
26 March 2019
There has been a lot of activity concerning retailers and their last mile delivery partners recently. Several retailers have cut ties with existing partners or cut schemes altogether, while others have decided now is the time to commit. So, what’s going on? Why are some retailers pulling back, while others are investing? Let’s start by looking at what’s expected of a delivery scheme. Each is ...
21 March 2019
Professor Tim Benton shares his views on the most problematic aspect of our supply chains, as well as how he sees the industry working in five years’ time. He also gives us a sneak peek on the focus of his Supply Chain Summit presentation. Download infographic as PDF >> Download infographic as PDF >> Supply Chain Summit 2019 15 October, London The ...
13 March 2019
“Beware of minimising costs and wastage in your supply chain at the expense of the needs of your shoppers”, you will hear me utter to delegates in our workshops. This was brought to life for me last week when I popped into a supermarket for few items on my way home from work. I took a route to go past a convenient supermarket. On entering the fruit and vegetables department, I encountered a s...
27 February 2019
Sustainability is now at the heart of many companies’ core messages - and the supply chain is making these commitments a reality. Doing good really can be good business and, far from being niche, sustainable practices are now a popular way to differentiate from the competition. But, for sustainability to embed itself into companies’ strategies, it must be seen to add material value.  Assign...
26 February 2019
We’ve recently published the latest report in our ‘ Powered by People ’ research stream. It explores how organisations progress on their journey to becoming digitally capable and outlines the need for change in this increasingly important area and reviews case studies from the industry. This research follows an excellent report my colleagues in our charity team on the same subject. It helps ...
06 February 2019
The ‘last mile’ has become an increasingly competitive place, as the food industry and disruptors continue to create solutions that make online shopping even more convenient. We know that the convenience and ease of online shopping is extremely appealing to shoppers. We’ve identified several examples of last mile solutions that help online shoppers embrace this convenience. Increase in unat...
29 January 2019
“Doing good is good business” – One of IGD’s five predictions that will drive change in our industry in 2019. It describes the industry’s move towards more sustainable, green practices, helping to reduce and prevent waste. Sustainability is now at the heart of many companies’ marketing messages to shoppers, and the supply chain is at the heart of efforts to make progress. The halo effect tha...
23 January 2019
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 and so there is a dis...
16 January 2019
Identifying the trends that matter now is a challenging task. It’s certainly possible to identify 20 trends at random, which at some point in the future will have a significant impact. Assessing near-term relevance requires a deep understanding of the drivers of change. At the start of each year, we put forward the trends we expect will influence and shape food and grocery supply chains in th...
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...