Challenges and their Solutions for Small Suppliers and Distributors in the F&B Industry

Small suppliers and distributors in the food industry face various challenges, such as a strict regulatory environment, shorter expiration dates, and poor-quality control. Everything about running a supply or distribution company in this industry is a challenge.

The fast-turn world of the F&B industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic presents unique challenges, requiring more visibility, informed decision-making, quality control measures, streamlined communication, and collaboration with consumers.

Although most companies adjust to varying consumers’ requirements and develop their strategies accordingly, those in the F&B industry have to modify their plans every week or month due to fluctuations. Today’s article will highlight challenges for small suppliers and distributors in the F&B sector and present solutions to compete with giant companies. Read on!

Challenges for Food and Beverage Suppliers and Distributors

The food and beverage supply chain is the most complex system worldwide. Yet, it is essential for the industry to bring efficiency and sustainability. Although many suppliers and distributors assume that operations are incorruptible and finely tuned, they evolve and present new challenges.

Although technology in the F&B industry has streamlined various aspects for suppliers and distributors, there is an increasing demand for safe and fresh food/packaging. Therefore, suppliers and distributors must keep an eye on new challenges and find innovative solutions to stay competitive in the market.

Inadequate Product Quality/Safety

Thanks to the diversity of supply chain networks, consumers have access to a wide range of food and beverage products. However, this comes with an increased risk to food safety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters to suppliers and distributors in the industry about the low-quality and inadequate safety of food products.

Low product quality and safety lead to risks on multiple fronts. For instance, it harms the overall business’s bottom line, negatively impacts finances, and hurts its reputation. Not addressing this issue can turn into long-term complications, and companies may not have solutions to overcome them.

Solution

Suppliers and distributors in the food and beverage industry need to follow a proactive approach and develop a sophisticated plan with complete visibility and control over food inventory.

Most companies do not practice accurate inventory management and reporting. As a result, unreliable data can damage your business’s reputation. Therefore, it is crucial to use advanced inventory software with innovative features.

Ideagen is a cloud-based platform with innovative food quality and safety management features to meet compliance, regulatory, and industry standards. The easy-to-use software application gives you a broader picture of your business to streamline food quality, safety, and operational efficiency and reduce food wastage.

ETQ is another food safety and quality management platform for suppliers and distributors, allowing businesses to quantify and improve their supply chain operations by preventing food contamination and optimizing product traceability.

KEXY is an advanced, cutting-edge platform for suppliers and distributors to reach existing and target audiences. The platform offers geo-targeting features, allowing suppliers and distributors to find establishments (restaurants, cafes, bars, etc.) in their local areas and promote their products and services.

The purpose is to ensure you reach your target audience or customers interested in your products. KEXY has real-time analytics features that let suppliers and distributors analyze their target audience’s behavior, purchasing patterns, and other essential data to generate valuable insights and make informed decisions. So, all this translates to increased sales that improve your business’s bottom line.

Data has become an integral part of any business. You can make wise sales-oriented decisions/strategies and streamline your business operations when you have the correct information. At the same time, accurate data analysis via KEXY can help you save time, money, and improve customer service.

Reduced Efficiency

Situations and trends in the food and beverage industry undergo changes more rapidly than the weather. Consumers’ demands change from time to time. For example, today, people demand organic food more than ever. So this creates a lot of challenges for restaurants because suppliers can’t meet this demand for natural alternatives to commercial food products.

Solution

Solving these issues requires suppliers/distributors to collaborate with restaurants to bring more efficiency in the supply chain visibility with accurate management and ordering processes.

Better organization, quality control, and efficiency are critical factors to streamline the overall process. So, by automating the supply chain process, suppliers and distributors can optimize relationships with food production companies and restaurants to ensure organic food and beverage supply.

Low-Quality Food Packaging

Low-quality food packaging is another challenge for suppliers because most companies take this for granted. The primary purpose of packaging is to ensure food security and protection.

However, low-quality packaging materials can lead to food wastage, causing companies to purchase more from food production businesses and spend more money. On the other hand, attractive packaging designs with premium-quality materials can enhance food safety and protection while enticing restaurants and bars to demand more.

Solution

Additives in packaging materials are the culprit behind consumers’ reduced health and wellbeing. Reputable suppliers and distributors understand these problems, and they have the resources to tackle the issue using sustainable solutions.

So, smaller suppliers and distributors need to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions by collaborating with plant-based packaging manufacturers. Ecofriendly packaging is better and more cost-effective than materials like plastics and metals because it is reusable and recyclable.

Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply and distribution are complex systems with multiple layers. It involves various parties with restricted access to real-time data, preventing them from making informed decisions and practical actions. Poor communication and unreliable data between suppliers and distributors create further complications in the supply chain at various levels.

On the other hand, large companies use advanced technology tools and software applications to streamline communication channels and equip stakeholders, managers, and teams with easy-to-use and intuitive cloud-based portals to increase productivity and reduce disruptions.

Solution

The most optimal solution for this problem is to eliminate the unexpected situations by bringing more transparency and centralizing communication between stakeholders/managers/team members with access to real-time data.

DEAR Systems is a reputable software for companies in the food production, supply, and distribution sectors, offering advanced and intuitive features to manage inventory levels.

Fresh Cheq is a cloud-based platform that enables suppliers and distributors to manage operational processes via audits, task management, and food waste logs. The platform is easy-to-use with an intuitive user interface, allowing businesses to streamline communication, perform warehouse management, and automate processes to facilitate the food supply chain.

Traditional spreadsheets, manual data recording and analysis, and a lack of tailored solutions lead to supply chain and distribution complexities. The good news is that you can use the cloud-based KEXY platform to overcome these issues.

Not only does KEXY streamline your communication channels, but it also automates your supply chain operations using real-time data with accurate analysis and insights.

Moreover, KEXY Deals lets you connect with vendors from a single/centralized platform and access product deals based on your needs. “KEXY Deals” has many unique features you won’t find with other platforms.

“KEXY Deals” is a powerful tool for suppliers and distributors to analyze real-time data, understand their competitors’ strategies and actions, and generate insights that let them stay competitive in the market.

So, if you want to reach your target audience interested in your products, leverage the power of KEXY Deals. Not only does this make your business more productive, but it also boosts sales with higher ROIs.

Essential Tips to Compete with Giant Corporations

Suppliers and distributors in the food and beverage industry have various problems, including transportation delays, food wastage, low-quality packaging, a lack of communication channels, etc.

Optimizing the food supply chain requires businesses to carry out the onboarding of each team member and devise effective supply chain strategies. Otherwise, restaurants, cafes, and bars can break ties with your company and join hands with giant companies. Here are a few tips for competing with larger corporations.

Performance Evaluation

Suppliers need to question their strategies regarding food safety regulations, reinvest in their programs, and streamline their record-keeping processes. Once you meet these criteria, you can ensure long-term contracts with restaurants and cafes.

Contact restaurants, cafes, bars, and other companies to give you feedback on measuring technology, quality, flexibility, communication, and performance to commitment. When you receive feedback, you can evaluate your performance, find loopholes, correct errors, and modify your strategy according to your clients’ requirements.

Quality Analysis

The quality of food products is one of the most significant problems for suppliers and distributors. If you offer cheap products to save labor costs and do not follow compliance requirements, you will stay behind in the market.

Although you can increase the supply of products, quality is a primary concern, meaning you can quickly lose trust. The FDA regularly tests food quality today due to increased consumer demands.

So, if you have low-quality products entering the market, thorough checking by the FDA can harm your business reputation. Therefore, implement an automated statistical process controls system to ensure everything goes smoothly.

In addition, maintain a high level of supply chain control and visibility, develop a food safety program, introduce sustainable packaging solutions, use accurate labeling, and collaborate with your clients to understand their problems.  

Boost Your Sales

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive shift in purchasing behavior among consumers, putting a severe damper on sales over the last two years. Food suppliers and distributors need to explore the potential of selling through online channels and consider buying in bulk and mass-market stores to optimize their outcomes.

Challenges and their Solutions for Small Suppliers and DistributorsSuppliers and distributors in the F&B industry can leverage cutting-edge technology tools to automate critical processes and bring efficiency and consistency to their operations to increase sales and boost profit margins. So, companies must use a software system and focus on the latest compatibility and integrations with complementary systems.

KEXY is a cloud-based software system for suppliers and distributors to maintain existing clients and reach new audiences using geo-targeted capabilities. When you use KEXY, you can find new businesses and companies interested in your products.

KEXY’s advanced and real-time data analytics allows you to analyze purchasing behaviors and patterns, generate valuable insights, and make informed decisions to increase sales and generate higher returns on investments (ROIs). The most significant advantages of using KEXY are:

  •       Wider Sales Reach
  •       Targeted Promotions
  •       Real-time analysis of purchasing patterns
  •       Two-Way Communication
  •       Ideas for New Promotions
  •       Tracking Progress and Business operations in real-time

Moreover, KEXY uses different factors, such as inventory patterns and purchase behavior of end-users/businesses, to identify low inventory levels. Once you gather this data using KEXY, you can generate valuable insights and develop a strategy to increase sales.

Final Words

Companies in the food and beverage industry experience a wide range of new challenges daily. However, with proper planning, processes, and technology, they can bring more visibility/control, ensure quality, and compete with big players in the market. Implement KEXY as an essential technology tool in your supply chain and distribution to achieve your business goals. Until Next Time!

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