Many Companies Report ‘Crippling’ Cold Chain Data Gaps
At a time when even the general public is aware of the “cold chain” and the role it plays in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, companies that ship lower-profile but nonetheless important items say data gaps in their own supply chains are costing them millions of dollars.
More than 90% of food and beverage and pharmaceuticals companies acknowledged they could not trust all the data they have about the products moving through their supply chains, particularly cold items. In the case of food and beverages that must be maintained at precise temperatures, companies said this lack of data visibility costs them between $71 million and $179 million annually. Three percent claimed to have lost $1 billion or more annually from fresh food spoilage caused by cold chain failures.
Food and beverage companies said data blind spots resulted in product damage or spoilage (28%), temperature excursions (28%), unexpected delays (28%), lost or misplaced inventory (19%) and compliance issues (19%). The cause seemed to be the dated methods companies use to track shipments: 79% used a manual process to achieve supply chain visibility and 44% used spreadsheets.
“Reliable end-to-end visibility is a capability that cannot be compromised in the highly regulated pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear how crucial end-to-end supply chain visibility truly is,” said Mahesh Veerina, president and CEO of Cloudleaf, which sponsored the survey. “The findings of this report illustrate a crippling reality for high-value supply chains and cold chains today. A vast majority of companies recognize that the traditional methods of monitoring product as it travels through the supply chain simply do not offer the visibility necessary to ensure quality and compliance. Reliable end-to-end visibility is a capability that cannot be compromised in the highly regulated pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.”
David Parker, chief evangelist at Cloudleaf, called the findings “significant for their operational and financial impacts as well as the final customer outcomes.”
The “State of Supply Chain Visibility” report was conducted in collaboration with Sapio Research. The full report can be downloaded here.