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Updated by Jonathan Buring on Nov 21, 2017
Headline for Common Inventory Issues in Food Distribution
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Common Inventory Issues in Food Distribution

Managing an inventory in the food distribution context can be quite difficult, as there are a variety of issues to monitor and correct. Read on to learn more about those issues.


Inventory Security

Safeguarding inventory is an important aspect of effective inventory management — even in the food distribution context. Food products can be stolen or damaged as a result of unwanted intrusions. Implementing proper security protocols and investing in video surveillance equipment (as well as more frequent inventory auditing) can help keep your inventory safe.


Food Spoilage

Food spoilage remains a critical issue in the food distribution industry. Spoilage can occur at various phases of the distribution and inventory process. For example, if food products are not packaged properly, they may be prone to spoilage. Similarly, if you have ordered food products from a distribution center and the products are shipped in containers that are not designed to keep the product fresh (i.e., refrigerated containers), then you could lose some of the inventory to spoilage.

Once the food products have been delivered and are in your inventory, it’s important to ensure that a clean, temperature-controlled environment is provided and tailored towards the products that you have in stock. Keeping track of the shelf life of each product in your inventory is also critical. Implementation of software that tracks inventory dynamically can help you keep tabs on your inventory so that you can distribute items before they spoil.


Identifying Demand Trends

Demand is rarely static over a period of time. Demand for different food products shifts over the course of a season, and often even over the course of a much shorter period of time (day, week, month). Inventory management that fails to take into account dynamic demand will result in unnecessary waste and potentially a lack of supply during key periods.


Inventory Analysis

Data-driven inventory analysis (using accurate, timely data) can be used to assess the profitability of various inventory items, as well as manage par levels, and track demand throughout a single day, week, month, or year. Inventory management software helps integrate data into your inventory operations so that you can easily identify opportunities and issues as they arise.

If you’re experiencing inventory issues — whether you’re a food retailer, in food service, or are simply a large organization that has significant food distribution requirements — then you should consider working with a food distribution company that utilizes high-end, software-based inventory planning solutions to help minimize waste.


Supplier Cooperation

If you’re a high-volume customer working with a supplier, failure to engage closely with the supplier can result in inefficiencies that increase your costs when handling inventory as it’s shipped to you. Close engagement with a supplier can ensure that your incoming inventory is packaged, labeled, and delivered in a particular way so as to minimize your handling costs.