Blogs

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

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...
02 May 2017
Following IGD’s announcement that China’s online grocery market will more than double by 2020, Suzannah Murphy looks at the challenges and opportunities that arise from exponential online growth.   Here at IGD, we recently carried out research into China’s online grocery market. Last week, we released new insight: we forecast that China’s online market will more than double by 2020 – from 3...
21 April 2017
Chris explores the current state of online fulfilment, assessing the factors that are influencing the development of the online channel Keeping pace with, and adapting to, the ever-changing online shopper is challenge enough, but the drive to attract new business is only serving to accelerate the pace of change within the channel. To date, developments in this sector have been underpinned by ad...
10 April 2017
IGD's Chief Economist, James Walton, offers his take on how a productive supply chain can help businesses to create material value for shareholders.   IGD's Chief Economist, James Walton, offers his take on how a productive supply chain can help businesses to create material value for shareholders.   The scale option In February 2017, the US-based grocery company Kraft Heinz offere...
04 April 2017
Alan Hayes explores how we can deliver sustainable changes to our actions.   My recent blog:  ‘Making it stick ', featured Lewin’s field theory as the basis for modelling transformational change. In this blog, I will examine leadership development and the actual change process itself, exploring how to deliver sustainable changes to our actions, habits or competencies. Whether we are dealing...
13 March 2017
Stewart looks at what’s driving Target’s supply chain investment in the US. While the topic of retail transformation is high on the agenda for many operators, only a few retailers have successfully put their supply chain at the heart of this process. One of the leaders in this space is Target, a leading general merchandise and grocery retailer in the US. It operates just under 1,800 predominant...
15 February 2017
Alex looks at the importance of supply chain learner journeys in a world of change.   Developing our people and training them have never been more relevant as we attempt to traverse the skills gap we are faced with. IGD’s “Mind the Gap” skills research in 2016 helped identify these gaps. Our next step in the journey was to engage the industry to help shape our approach and what better cha...
08 February 2017
Recently, we've seen increased incidences of extreme weather related interruptions to our global food supply chains. Alan Hayes considers the growing need for food businesses to consider how they anticipate these interruptions. I was in South Africa when media coverage of the severe weather in Spain and its impacts on fresh produce began to break on December 26th 2016. Heavy rains in the Murcia...