Blogs

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

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 ...
13 February 2018
Same-day delivery is one of the biggest challenges facing retailers and manufacturers in today’s food and grocery market. It challenges the very model that has allowed modern trade to thrive in regions around the world. Is it a challenge that can be overcome? And does it really need to be? Who or what is driving the agenda? What’s motivating food and grocery businesses to develop a sa...
08 February 2018
Alan Hayes takes a look at the recent activity on plastic waste and puts it in a wider context. Growing calls for action Industry is under increasing pressure from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Greenpeace, Hubbub and WWF to reduce plastic use in food packaging. Mainstream media are also driving this pressure. The pressure centres on the extent of plastic contamination in e...
06 February 2018
City centre congestion remains one of the key challenges faced by retailers and delivery companies as they compete to deliver a reliable and cost-effective service. Convenience stores and online shopping are global growth trends in food and grocery (see IGD’s recent Global retail trend predictions for 2018 ), and delivery lead times are getting shorter all the time, both to store and to h...
02 February 2018
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) recently published their latest  Supply Chain Report . Alan Hayes, IGD's Sustainability and Strategy Manager, reviews their findings.   The report describes how businesses can leverage the power of purchasing, through their supply chains and suppliers, to push for more action on climate change and in particular driving significant savings through emission...
02 February 2018
Finding new ways to serve customers better is more important than ever. To stay ahead of the competition, businesses face a stark choice – to lead or to lag behind. To lead requires an awareness of significant trends and their likely impacts. Trends have a habit of rippling through industries and the businesses that operate within them, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Trend anal...
23 January 2018
In this blog we talk to Simon Eagle and Ankur Bhandari, Partners at CAMELOT Management Consultants about the latest developments in Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management (DDSCM) IGD: How do you see the food and grocery industry developing in the future? Camelot: We’re seeing an increasing number of players and an increasingly competitive environment, with all involved looking to grow ma...
18 January 2018
IGD concludes Internet of Things series with a roadmap to implementation.   My colleague Chris Irish has this week published the third and final report examining the Internet of Things (IoT) , a wide-ranging concept which has many and varied applications for consumers and businesses. At its simplest, it describes devices which can connect and transfer data to a receiver without direct hu...
11 January 2018
The trend for online retailers to establish a “real world” store network continues to gather pace in 2018. Alistair Balderson, IGD's Head of Supply Chain Insight, looks at some recent developments. Last week the two major Chinese online retailers were in the news. Alibaba announced the expansion of their Hema supermarket chain with 30 new stores to be opened in Beijing during 2018. And JD.c...
03 January 2018
January: the month when people flock to sign up for the gym, go on a health kick and start wondering when spring will arrive. It’s also the time when we’re making personal development plans for the year. For 2018, why not add something a bit different? ECR Mentoring: a unique opportunity ECR Mentoring is an award-winning personal development programme run by IGD and a team of industry ...
07 December 2017
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) recently released a report detailing the use of industrial robotics around the world. It will come as no surprise to see an increasing number of industrial robots being recruited to the workforce, with significant year-on-year increases projected to the year 2020 and beyond... Perhaps more surprising are the varied adoption rates, with some industr...
04 December 2017
In our latest blog post, IGD's Chief Economist James Walton follows up his review of the UK Industrial Strategy with some more wide-ranging thoughts on how technology is likely to influence transport logistics in the coming years. Imminent revolution? We may stand on the verge of a global revolution in the way goods and passengers are transported, a revolution driven by the convergence of se...
28 November 2017
James Walton, IGD's Chief Economist, reviews the UK government’s new Industrial Strategy, which was published yesterday by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In the final section, he raises five important questions coming out of the document for you to consider. Four "Grand Challenges" to be tackled The new UK Industrial Strategy has been assembled through wide con...
07 November 2017
In this blog, we talked to Dr Emel Aktas and Professor Michael Bourlakis from Cranfield School of Management (U.K.) about how forecast methods can leverage real-time data to improve retail operations. IGD: Can you firstly define what you mean by “real-time data”? Real-time data are snapshots of unprocessed data available at different points in time. A typical example of real-time data i...
03 November 2017
Head of Supply Chain Insight, Alistair Balderson, looks ahead to a new IGD On-Shelf Availability report. Robots in the aisles Walmart recently announced that they were introducing robots into the aisles of some of their US stores. These robots trundle around the shop, scanning the shelves to highlight problems such as incorrect pricing, missing shelf-edge labels or availability gaps. The st...
10 October 2017
Head of Supply Chain Insight, Alistair Balderson, considers how leapfrog technologies can pave the way for transformational change. Winning in innovation Last week, Morrisons and Blue Yonder were announced as the winners of our 2017 Supply Chain Innovation award. Their entry was for a new automated forecasting and replenishment system, which is transforming Morrisons’ approach to on-shel...
13 September 2017
Suzannah explores how innovation in the supply chain could make all the difference to businesses wanting to stay ahead of competition. The way we shop is changing faster than ever. With busier lives, greater access to technology and higher expectations, it’s clear that multichannel is the future for retail, with shoppers buying groceries little and often – and more unpredictably. It’s clear, t...
12 September 2017
Supply chain resilience can be defined as “the adaptive capability of a firm’s supply chain to prepare for unexpected events, respond to disruptions, and recover from them in a timely manner by maintaining continuity of operations.”  Often, supply chain strategies used to pursue resilience focus on increasing flexibility, creating redundancy, forming collaborative supply chain relationships an...
31 August 2017
In IGD’s recent research, exploring the evolution of the IoT opportunity and the strategic implications for food and grocery supply chains, some 61% cited an “improved understanding of customers” as a top three expected business benefit of IoT, with 53% of companies citing “reduced costs and increased efficiencies” and 51% “development of new business models”. Indeed, 37% of food and grocery co...