Fresh retailer’s dilemma continues….

At its core, fresh retailer’s dilemma (read freshness / wastage predicament) is an inventory management issue.

But is it only a supply chain problem? What about impact of merchandising – their planograms, displays, promos and Store operations? What about procurement department which has to lift committed quantities oblivious of front end needs? What about logistics which has to honor vehicle movement restrictions put by city administrators? What about loss prevention (ironically responsible for reducing shrink) who have to seal fresh breathing produce in sealed closed trucks?

To make a dent into what look like a simple inventory management issue, a fresh retailer has to take a multidisciplinary and multi departmental approach to manage complexities that may eventually leads to new business processes, perhaps a new business model or altered organizational structure.

Beginning of course has to made by capturing data to get insights into what causes freshness leading to lesser dumps and vice versa. Though not a resource hungry approach but it is easier said than done. Are metrics available on FRESHNESS? What about its alter ego, dump / shrink? Let’s start with measuring that without each element in the value chain accusing one another as a dump / shrink contributor. To be continued..