The holiday season is fast approaching, which means the supply chain in the United States faces additional pressure after an entire year of shipping delays, recovery efforts, and uncertainty.
While sources are anticipating supply chain strain, we do have solid indicators of eventual recovery and stabilization within the next few years. Read on to find out our food and beverage supply chain predictions and how to prepare for the upcoming challenges.
What are the latest supply chain predictions for 2022?
It’s no secret that COVID-19 upended the supply chain during the early days of the pandemic. News reports showed grocery store shelves were empty as people started hoarding essential items during the pandemic. Those issues have carried over years later, and Americans still face the consequences of a disrupted supply chain.
The holiday season, combined with layoffs and record-setting inflation, has resulted in less-than-ideal supply chain predictions for 2022. Understanding the prospective limitations and adopting a strategic and preventative management plan is vital to keeping your food and beverage business stable over the next few quarters.
Below, we're exploring the impact of predicted supply chain problems in 2022 – and offering insight into how you can mitigate your risk.
Shipping containers and packaging
Container shipping operations continue to experience because of COVID. Lifting pandemic restrictions in freight operations should have been enough to stimulate the shipping container and packaging industry. However, ongoing challenges with renewed lockdowns in major ports and the lack of space for shipping containers continue to contribute to the issue.
Additionally, customs issues plague importers and exporters of essential goods. New checks by customs agencies started in January 2022 and resulted in a sharp decrease in imports and substantial delays in shipping.
One of the best strategies available to help food and beverage business owners avoid this risk is to diversify their sourcing strategy, opting for local, regional, or community vendors wherever possible. You can then manage your vendors through a centralized ERP service – such as Inecta.
Delays by the sea
Major ports on the West coast, East coast, and European seaboard are congested and simply can’t keep up with the demand for goods brought on by the easing of COVID-19 era restrictions.
The result? Essential items are being held at the ports, and shipping delays are becoming common. Additionally, catastrophic weather events like Hurricane Ian damaged major Florida and Gulf Coast ports, causing additional delays for shipping importers and exporters.
Strategic local sourcing can help mitigate your risk for delays and production limitations.
Holidays pose additional strain to food and beverage businesses
Those in the food and beverage industry may be concerned about ongoing supply chain issues spilling into the holiday season. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year for food and beverage manufacturers, and the holiday supply chain issues look as if they will last for the rest of the year through the holiday season.
Below are some additional 2022 supply chain issues that experts believe will persist.
The ordering process isn’t as simple as it used to be. The increase in demand for a broader range of products and trends in health concerns drive the issue of order complexity.
One example is the shift from soda and sugar to healthier alternatives, as well as soy milk and craft beer instead of milk and traditional light beers – and food and beverage businesses must continue to iterate to stay relevant with their consumer base.
A centralized, specialized food ERP and RFID tags are technologically-driven solutions that allow warehouses to manage the increase in order complexity well – and gives you valuable visibility and tracking for more precise management and purchase processes.
Believe it or not, food fraud is a major issue for food and beverage manufacturers. Food fraud occurs when a manufacturer or supplier introduces unapproved preservatives or other additives to their product.
One instance of food fraud includes when a supplier ships a cheaper alternative to a standard product or injects their product with foreign substances without telling food and beverage business owners.
The best way to combat food fraud is to have regular quality control testing to ensure your products are safe to consume and that you get what you pay for.
Poor communication practices contribute to the ongoing supply chain issues. When food and beverage manufacturers form relationships with suppliers across the world, communication issues may arise.
Whether it’s due to the time difference, language barrier, or differences in culture, communication breakdown between food and beverage manufacturers and their suppliers continues to plague the supply chain.
Managing all vendor and client communication through a centralized food ERP is a more strategic way to run your operations, helping you to avoid the risk of missing any messages.
Transparency and honesty
With the ongoing supply chain issues, major companies are getting hit the hardest and will do anything they can to turn a profit. This may mean cutting corners and leading to a need for more transparency from suppliers.
To combat this, food and beverage manufacturers have implemented continuous communication logs, encouraging transparency from everyone involved in the supply chain process.
How to stay ahead of supply chain issues in 2022
What used to start on Black Friday, the holiday season now begins much earlier with the ongoing supply chain issues. Retailers now encourage buyers to make purchases online and then pick up the items in-store due to the supply chain shipping delays that will continue through the holiday season. You might choose to do the same orr opt for strategically-timed early-bird sales and other initiatives.
No matter what your sales strategy is, your food and beverage business can benefit from a centralized ERP system in place. Inecta has led the industry for over 20 years as the top choice of ERP for food and beverage businesses. We're here to help you make your business a success, offering a more streamlined approach to operational management and tracking. For more information and to get started today, please visit our website.