Blogs

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

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...
18 January 2017
Most of us are acutely aware of the accelerating pace of change within our industry, and the unprecedented uncertainty which now accompanies this. I believe there’s a real risk that we become complacent about change, accepting it as an inevitability. This blog sets out how we can take control of change within our organisations, especially in supply chains functions, in response to external influe...
12 January 2017
After a changeable 2016, Suzannah Murphy looks ahead to 2017 and what the year might have in store. It was all change in 2016. From futuristic innovations to unprecedented political shocks, it seems like uncertainty is the only certainty we have. But as we move into 2017 it’s time to look to the future and see what the year could have in store for us. What could these conditions mean for the su...
16 November 2016
In his latest blog, Chris Irish takes a look at how the online channel has fundamentally changed the face of retail across the world. Last month, IGD held its Online and Digital Summit in London. The event shined a spotlight on something we’ve known for a while now: Online has fundamentally changed the face of retail across the world. Research from IGD’s ShopperVista service suggests that ne...
25 October 2016
With the skills gap widening each day, equipping your business with the right capabilities and expertise will be key to success in the technologically empowered supply chain. Alex Edge explores five possible routes to success. The world in which our supply chains are operating is changing at a rate never seen before. The use and availability of data is rising exponentially each year and, couple...
02 September 2016
With growth hard to come by, untangling your supply chain cost to serve may be more important than ever. Chris Irish explores how decisions made at one end of a supply chain can have a profound impact at the other and untangling this web may help you uncover hidden costs to remove and increase your business’s profitability. OK, I should probably start by clarifying something: I’m not about to...
26 August 2016
Technology is having a profound impact on supply chains and on the people who work in them. Darren Smillie investigates how automation is reshaping supply chain structures and skillsets and uncovers ways in which businesses can manage the disruption. The promise of technology is that it improves the lives of those it’s designed for. But for all of its undoubted benefits there can also be some d...
24 August 2016
There is a clear split in the strategies that businesses currently deploy to acquire data for their supply chains. Darren Smillie examines the options and why it’s so important to have a plan for the data driven future. Data increasingly dominates decisions and determines the success or failure of supply chains to adapt to a frenetic and fast changing market. As the volume, velocity and variety...
26 July 2016
In the race to eliminate last-mile logistics costs, Suzannah Murphy looks at who's doing what in the busy world of drone innovations. Let’s be honest: there’s been a lot of drone-related news this year. With all these stories flying around faster than the drones themselves, there’s no better time for me to sit down and see what all the fuss is about in the race to eliminate last-mile logisti...
21 July 2016
Delivering the KPI’s was once the be-all and end-all, but today’s supply chains call for something more. The ‘strategic operator’, capable of operating and innovating to help businesses win. Chris Irish investigates what’s changed and why we need to as well. Almost every week I hear about a new innovation that will ‘change the face of supply chains.’ Some of them happen, most of them don’t – ...
28 June 2016
Darren Smillie examines how supply chains, in these times of unprecedented change, can fall back on some universal truths to navigate the uncharted waters ahead. It’s a time of unprecedented change for businesses, markets and the global economy. The world in which most supply chains were developed no longer exists and businesses are scrambling to meet burgeoning shopper demands in an ultra-comp...
22 June 2016
Change in the FMCG supply chain is accelerating at a rate never seen before, driving complexities and skills and technological gaps across the industry. Well, this is the opinion of more than 25 supply chain and logistics leaders that met recently, at IGD’s ECR (Efficient Consumer Response) board strategy day. And I have to say, I agree with them. The ECR board brings together many leaders in ...
09 June 2016
The need for speed, especially in the online arena, is driving investment in supply chain automation. Has the food and grocery industry finally shaken off past demons to embrace supply chain automation? Laura shares her thoughts.   Historically, automated supply chains in food and grocery are relatively few and far between, with many of the big grocery retailers tending to shy away from ful...