Blogs

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

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...
23 August 2017
In our increasingly complex and ambiguous world, we encounter teams in many guises – agile teams, virtual teams, cross-functional teams, project teams, transformation team, and many more. Teams are a consistent feature in our day to day work. We accept team-based structures and belonging to a team which delivers results as part of the “how things are done” in our organisations. It can be difficul...
14 August 2017
IGD’s Chief Economist James Walton explores how artificial intelligence (AI) may impact supply chain logistics. From brute force to deep learning AI has a long history – the foundations of current technologies developed in the 1950s and 60s - machines capable of learning appeared in 1954 1 and pattern recognition in 1956 2 . Since then AI has split into specialisms and important advances h...
26 July 2017
Customer centricity is one of the four key themes we’ll be exploring at this year’s IGD Supply Chain Summit . We’ll be looking at how leading manufacturers, retailers and service providers are adapting their supply chains to put their customers first. Based on research I’ve carried out, training courses I’ve managed and interactions I’ve had over the last ten years of my career, it’s clear th...
05 July 2017
IGD’s Chief Economist, James Walton, considers the effects that Brexit could have on the UK’s grocery supply chain Breaking away from the EU labour market Negotiation of UK exit from the EU (Brexit) began on 19th June 2017, with discussion of citizens’ rights allocated high priority. Theresa May has suggested that EU nationals that live in the UK for five years or more before a cut-off d...
21 June 2017
It’s human nature, not just good business sense, to compare yourself with others. From an early age, we instinctively look to and mimic the behaviour of those around us – it’s a vital part of learning and developing. As we get older, we continue to look at the behaviour and achievements of others although our motivations can subtly shift from an innate thirst for learning to a means of sating our...
14 June 2017
After two great years at IGD, I’ve seen some significant changes within the industry. Of course, change is a constant, but the pace of change has noticeably increased. The supply chain is utilising technology to great effect, which is helping to address some of the new challenges. This has prompted some tough questions: how will we continue to respond to the changing market and increasing compet...