The cold chain, or a temperature-controlled supply chain, provides the means for perishable products to make it to retail stores. Without the sophisticated network of interconnected logistics, the perishables section of the local grocery store would look vastly different. Many, if not most, cold chain failures are preventable and result from out-of-date supply chain technologies. Because of the importance of the supply chain with virtually every product we purchase at supermarkets, reducing cold chain failures has a huge impact on the health of consumers.
Cold chain data is not complete without temperature data. As stated earlier, most cold chain technologies of yesterday do not provide real-time data in the same way that IoT sensors are capable of. Many transportation service providers are now expecting that they will be able to view all of their cold chain data through a single pane of glass, which requires digital solutions to replace the many manual processes that are expected of drivers.
Improved visibility into temperature sensitive shipments enables a new era of making data-driven decisions. Many of the systems in place today were designed to identify and solve for issues after they have occurred, which means product would have already been compromised. In many cases, excursions are detected as the result of customers getting sick from a preventable foodborne illness. At this point, irreversible damage may have already been dealt to the unfortunate consumers who received the spoiled product.
Preserving the quality of food in transit is imperative: over 50% of supermarket sales are perishable foods. This share has been rising over the years, pointing to the significance of preventing foodborne illness from perishables. A preventative food safety strategy will make the management of perishable foods more effective, leading to fewer cases of undue foodborne illness.
By adopting digital solutions, transportation and logistics managers are easing compliance burdens. One of the biggest problems with compliance management stems from the inability to easily analyze and produce the required documentation. Even if transportation organizations are in compliance, the audit process can be complex and inefficient, causing more headache than its worth.
The increased documentation can guarantee that proper steps are being taken to remain compliant, and with a digital solution, retrieval of documents is trivial. Simply log in from a compatible device (virtually any machine that can access the internet) and review compliance documents. This frees up time for compliance managers to focus more on work that matters, rather than chasing down documents.
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