Supply Chain Integration in the Food Industry

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Supply chain management (SCM) is an important part of any business or operational system; but in food industry in general, and the retail grocery business specifically, there is a higher need for efficiency. This is due, in part, to the perishable nature of many grocery items, as well as the vagaries and oscillations of consumer demand.


My first action as the new CEO would be to implement an efficient consumer response (ECR) system. As one author notes, "ECR is an approach to supply chain management a managerial approach that starts with consumer demand and then gears the whole of the supply chain to responding to that demand. It is a customer-driven, demand-pull product management system..." (Gillooley and Varley 42). This method makes particularly good business sense in the retail grocery environment because it is based on supplying products by allying all of the elements of the supply chain with customer purchasing patterns. Consider, for example, how this type of SCM system would increase efficiency during the holidays. Normal sales of large, frozen turkeys are generally low during the months of January through October, but spike over November and December. ...
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