Blogs

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

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...
17 May 2016
Darren Smillie looks at how China is uniquely poised to take the lead in supply chain innovation through a combination of ambition, agility and ability. Almost every number you hear about China is mind boggling and its retail market is no exception. For example, China’s Singles Day (November 11) is the largest online sales event in the world, hitting $14.3b in 2015 and dwarfing Cyber Monday or ...
28 April 2016
Following IGD's recent Reducing Wasted Miles event, Chris Irish explores how we can deal with one of the biggest challenges facing the food and consumer goods industry.   Last week, IGD brought together over 50 companies at the Reducing Wasted Miles event at Nottingham’s East Midlands Conference Centre.  Having recently joined IGD’s supply chain team, this was my first event, so I was keen ...
05 April 2016
What can the industry learn from Amazon’s seemingly limitless capability for innovation? Laura John shares her thoughts. It’s probably best I ‘fess up right at the start…I use Amazon a lot! I’m even a Prime member, having been hooked just before Christmas when there was £20 off the annual subscription. Some of my favourite presentations for Supply Chain Analysis have been about Amazon’s suppl...
03 March 2016
Alex Edge explores the world of trust and sharing best practice within supply chain.   What continues to surprise me almost on a daily basis is how closed we still are in our approach to sharing best practice. Over the last 8 years of my supply chain career I can count the negatives of sharing best practice I have experienced on one hand, zero.   So why do we still fear taking that le...
01 February 2016
Darren Smillie looks at capabilities which will underpin supply chain success in the future.   One of the big trends IGD has predicted for supply chain teams in 2016 is a surge of interest in building their capabilities to be able to compete in today’s dynamic and evolving industry.   Training in supply chain, with its traditional operational focus, has tended to be mostly “on the j...