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Technology and transparency in supply-chain management

Technology has "empowered" supply-chain teams with efficiencies never before possible. With efficiency, you save time, and saving time equals saving money.

Manufacturers now have the ability to source from anyplace, anytime, 24/7. The UBER experience that places the customer in control with complete transparency (price, driver name, location, etc.) will soon be the standard for supply-chain teams. With FSMA implementation, traceability is required. Gone are the days of "hide the factory." Technology has enabled complete transparency of the factory of origin providing the necessary solution.

With transparency at the factory level, manufacturers can choose from one or more factory partners, some already on their approved vendor list. This level of factory transparency is assisting in securing pipelines of ingredients that are in short supply. It’s also allowing manufacturers to lock in and secure pricing of those "high demand" ingredients as those prices continue to rise. This form of transparency is giving smart manufacturers a competitive advantage.

Transparency should also be available on other necessary information like easily downloadable QC documents. R&D teams don’t have time to track down and wait for these documents. If documents are readily available, at their fingertips, R&D teams will be even more efficient.

Real-time U.S. inventory is another issue, and with complete transparency, there should be absolutely no down time in production cycles. Gone are the days of waiting for a shipment that in many cases is still on the water. Purchasing teams that have access to critical information can make analyzed choices based on real-time U.S. inventory. This level of transparency will absolutely impact margins.

And, shouldn't prices be clearly transparent for each ingredient? This will allow purchasing teams to make calculated decisions based on tiered prices and quantity breaks. In many cases, purchasing teams know the production pipeline, so taking advantage of discounts at larger volumes is the right choice. This level of transparency allows for even more savings offered by factory-direct tiered pricing.

With the factory-direct e-commerce platform, factory of origin, downloadable QC documents, real-time U.S. inventory and factory-direct tiered pricing is clearly transparent for each ingredient, leaving supply-chain team members in complete control to make the decisions that fit their manufacturing needs.