Supply Chain Management and Strategy Implementation for Perishable Goods

Supply Chain Management and Strategy Implementation for Perishable Goods

Anju Bharti (Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0945-6.ch014


Supply chain management is the active management of supply chain activities to maximize customer value and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage for a longer time. The supply chain firms put an extra effort to develop and run in the most effective & efficient ways possible. There are issues of concern that need attention, like huge losses in perishables (food) because of infrastructural deficiencies. The demand for food remains highly unfulfilled in most of the country and outside in spite of high production of food. This is because of highly ineffective, inadequate and very weak supply chains for food that require temperature controlled conditions to retain quality and safety of food and curb the decay process. An effective food retail supply chain thus becomes vital (Bourkakis and Weightman, 2004).Supply chains for perishable and time-sensitive products, pose specific and unique challenges. The temperature controlled supply chains or cold chains are a significant proportion of the retail food market which is still in the nascent stage.
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Business today is being conducted in a global environment. Globalization has forced countries and companies to become more efficient, creating the infrastructure and competitive advantage necessary to survive in the overwhelming market scenario. Companies are going truly global with supply-chain management to cater the needs of everyone throughout the globe. For example, a company, now a day, can develop a product in the United States, manufacture in India and sell in Europe. Companies have changed the ways in which they manage their operations and logistics activities according to the situation. Changes in trade, the spread and modernization of transport infrastructures and the intensification of competition have elevated the importance of flow management to new levels. The country like India which is having a geographic diversities with different types of soil, habitats, climates and vegetation is a major producer of food like, vegetables, fruits, wheat, pulse, milk, spices etc. in the world after China. Agricultural sector is a significant economic component, employing nearly 60% of the country’s population and contributing to around 25% of India’s gross domestic product. It is a challenge to manage a food supply chain that require all players in the supply chain to adhere to stringent operational practices in order to ensure the product is safe for consumption once it reaches the end consumer. Especially, in a global supply chain, when fresh or frozen foods are being transported, the procedures and equipment has to maintain the integrity of the cold chain to a more critical role to provide better outcome. Two issues that continue to drive best practices for managing the cold chain are food safety and food quality.

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