Transporting ice-cream and chocolates, both very high value-for-weight products has always been challenging. The smallest deviation in temperature during storage or transport alters the flavour, texture, feel and shape and directly impacts the sellability of these products.
While ice-cream producers are sensitive to temperature discipline, chocolatiers rarely pay attention to their supply chains. As any ice-cream marketeer would be happy to tell them, a melted or softened and re-formed product loses its shape, texture and taste; also the customer. We already know that bad taste, texture and feel directly translate to a bad brand image!
The Cold Chain that gets information and makes decisions from collected or collated data is an ancient, pre-historic relic! Data logging or just periodic transmission of data simply does not work – it’s all post mortem.
Managers who skimp on a 360 degree Supply Chain Visibility system cause their companies to lose millions every year in rejected and unsold goods and lost customers.
No one likes to eat melted and re-solidified chocolate or ice-cream – it simply tastes off. The temperature of the product needs to be monitored at a minimum 2-minute resolution throughout its post-production storage, transport and distribution. In fact, the monitoring must be extended to all the retail points-of-purchase to fully capture the delivery of the targetted ‘taste and texture’ customer-experience.
Some Cold Chain teams seem to believe that if the product crosses their threshold, it becomes someone else’s problem. Some managers tend to justify this poor show with various excuses like lack of corporate commitment, or one says that if the ice-cream doesn’t melt when its carried home from the store, why would it matter if the temperature spiked for some time during shipment or storage.
On the contrary, it matters – and in fact, the company’s leadership KRAs are directly linked to the performance of its Cold Chain.
The key to risk mitigation and minimal losses is to implement a single window, Enterprise-Wide, Cold Chain Measurement and Monitoring System – a Control Tower.
Such a system would typically include:
- Dashboards for a single, high-level view
- Rule-based alerts and alarms
- Escalation matrices for unattended alarms
- Drill-down granular reports to sensor and minute levels
- Contractor, trip and delivery SLA management
- Integration with your SAP/ JDE/ ERP
- Hi frequency, live temperature data
A reliable and effective choice of a Cold Chain Technology Service Provider would be based on:
- 5 Years in the same business
- Market References (Of course!)
- In-house technology (avoid system integrators)
- 2-minute resolution for LIVE temperature sensor data
- Control Tower Reports and Dashboards
A great Cold Chain Visibility solution will save many man-years of management time as well as millions in saved cargo and retained customers. You need lead indicators that let you take actions to mitigate adverse situations.
If you are fed-up with rejections at the delivery end, if your data loggers give you information that is too little, too late, and if your write-offs are approaching dangerous levels, then
You need a system that alerts you before the problem, tells you what’s about to happen that shouldn’t, and what’s not happening that should!
A great Cold Chain Visibility solution will save many man-years of management time as well as millions in saved cargo and retained customers. It will give your brand consistent quality in terms of customer experience, especially in the one that matters – great taste!