The COVID-19 pandemic has completely shaken the food distribution industry to its core. The truth is some sectors of food distribution are still feeling its residual effects as we move deeper into 2021 and beyond. The commitment to excellence of countless food distribution companies is what counted throughout the pandemic. These businesses stepped up when it mattered most and kept the globe fed during the most uncertain of times. Food organizations were forced to create new ways of maintaining their supply chains for the sake of the health of the public. The pandemic also amplified the problems that had already existed within the food distribution space before anyone had ever heard of the word “Coronavirus.” These issues included food safety, food fraud as well as theft. The threat of all these issues is still present in what we might call the “post-pandemic period,” although it would seem that in some parts of the world, the pandemic is raging on as fiercely as ever.
While we can’t speak to one specific area of the world, we can take stock in where the state of the food distribution industry currently lies on a global scale. Food distribution businesses of all kinds have fought tooth and nail to make lemonade out of lemons and work tirelessly to counteract the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the peak of the outbreak, people were frantically clearing out their local grocery stores and wholesalers in anticipation of a sort of retail food item Armageddon. The public fear was that food distributors would not be able to work at the capacity necessary to supply the globe’s public with the necessary food items they need for survival. Thus, a blitz ensued wherever you went that sold food items and other necessities. This fear never truly became reality at all. Food manufacturers and distributors devised creative ways to keep production at full tilt while doing all that they can to ensure their food products were safe and delivered on time, with as little delay as possible. The food distribution companies miraculously worked overtime in delivering the food items we count on while jumping over the hurdles COVID threw at them. Truly a marvel of achievement from a consumer’s lens.
Now, food distributors are still working tirelessly to combat exacerbated problems such as food safety and traceability, food fraud as well as theft. COVID has given these common problems faced by food distributors a major boost and an even bigger headache for businesses. Food safety and traceability have been a particularly difficult hurdle to manage amid the pandemic. With the ever-present paranoia of the times regarding the spread of disease, the last thing people want to worry about is whether the food they consume is contaminated. However, some fear is justified depending on whether the food distributor is responsible and maintains its product with the utmost integrity. That means employing some kind of lot traceability and quality control management system. A fantastic example of a solution that provides food distributors with these tools is Inecta Food ERP. Food ERP systems like Inecta Food come standard with essential features like lot traceability, quality control, and warehouse management which help food distributors maintain their product’s integrity even under the most extreme conditions, like a global pandemic for example. Food distributors without a reliable ERP system are working at a tremendous disadvantage, often employing manual data entry to maintain their business processes.
While the pandemic is still present within the food distribution space, it is obvious to see the industry is working extremely hard to not only stay afloat, but to excel. They will continue to create workarounds and alternatives in order to deliver to the public the food products they count on to sustain daily life.