24 March 2020
Guest blog by Dr Sam Roscoe, Senior Lecturer in Operations Management and Research Leader for the Supply Chain 4.0 Hub at the University of Sussex.
COVID-19 has exposed a number of fundamental issues in grocery and pharmaceutical supply chains. The grocery sector has been particularly hard hit because of its ‘lean’ just-in-time delivery supply chain model, panic buying and labour shortages. Over the past two decades, the UK grocery sector has adopted the lean, just-in-time, supply chain model from the automotive sector. This rapid replenishment model focuses on minimizing inventory and delivering new products to store shelves as soon as a product is purchased at the tills. The advantages of this system are lower inventory carrying costs, reduced product handling and smaller store rooms. The disadvantage, as seen today, is that any unforeseen surge in demand makes it difficult for stores to quickly replenish shelves as inventory is not readily at hand. (more…)
George Meredith March 24th, 2020