SaaS can help fix major problems in UK food supply chain exposed by pandemic response

SaaS solutions can create more resilient systems which will allow smaller players to compete with the big supermarket chains, which in turn will create a more diverse and responsive food service system

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A recent article in the Guardian (full article here) listed just some of the shortcomings exposed by the pandemic response, including how, when it was needed most:

  • Farmers were forced poured away more than a million litres of milk
  • Supermarket shelves were stripped of flour while millers were unable to sell it
  • Potato farmers were forced to hoard stocks
  • Some supermarkets sourced meat from Poland while British farmers were forced to stockpile
  • Farmers who supplied to restaurants and takeaways had their outlets cut off, and were unable to divert their produce to people who needed it
  • Retailers had done little to change their buying patterns and source food from farmers whose markets had dried up

The article goes on to say that an unprepared Defra went into crisis management and gave responsibility for the country’s food service to 9 companies which already owned 95.7% of the market, which in turn reduced economic diversity and concentrated even more power into the hands of the big supermarket chains.

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) said, “At a time when consumers were queueing up at retailers keen to buy meat, dairy and fresh produce, it was unacceptable that this demand was unfulfilled despite the fact that sufficient quantities of food were available in the country.”

In Deltion’s opinion, a SaaS solution like CarrierNet will:

  • Enable supply chains to become far more resilient and flexible – the correct solution uses modern integration and utilises the most granular information that can then be shared as necessary
  • Build diversity into the system so that smaller retailers can compete with larger ones – no large scale IT solutions are required by anyone, access to a URL is all that’s required to use a SaaS solution like CarrierNet
  • Deliver greater customer choice without impacting on sustainability – a solution that can be accessed by all stakeholders and delivers realtime information can achieve this outcome
  • Improve flow and transparency of information throughout supply chains (such as auditing and checking) – information does not have to be copied between systems because using modern techniques everyone accesses the same information and an SaaS solution such as CarrierNet audits every action

SaaS can deliver all the above and more right now. Yes, in the here and now; it is not some fairy tale solution that must be magically created in the distant future. We have the means to immediately increase the efficiency of our food supply chains and make it far more robust to cope with future challenges.

For more information about Deltion’s CarrierNet SaaS solution, please contact Bashir Khan – bashir.khan@deltion.co.uk

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