“Food waste costs the Australian economy around $36.6 billion each year”, according to the National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study. This huge food and financial waste can be greatly reduced through a more efficient supply chain management.
One concept in supply chain management that has gained tremendous traction in recent years is “Just-In-Time” (JIT) delivery of supplies. JIT is a strategy that emphasises the delivery of goods precisely when they are needed, without excess inventory. This approach holds particular significance in the context of food businesses, especially when it comes to the delivery of refrigerated food supplies.
Here let’s talk about why JIT delivery matters, how it relates to lean management and the crucial aspect of matching supply with demand in the food industry.
Minimising food waste
Food businesses, whether restaurants, catering services and those that sell food including grocery stores, rely on the freshness and quality of their products. JIT delivery ensures that perishable items, especially refrigerated foods, are delivered just in time to meet immediate demand. This minimises the chances of food spoilage and waste, which is not only ethically responsible but also financially prudent.
Lean management practices
JIT delivery aligns seamlessly with lean management principles, a methodology aimed at eliminating waste and maximizing efficiency. By receiving supplies precisely when they are needed, businesses can reduce inventory carrying costs, storage space requirements and the risk of obsolescence. This lean approach allows food businesses to allocate resources more effectively, resulting in cost savings and improved profitability.
Maintaining quality and safety
Refrigerated food supplies are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations and time delays. JIT delivery ensures that these items are transported and stored under optimal conditions, maintaining their quality and safety standards. This is crucial for preventing foodborne illnesses and maintaining customer trust.
Matching supply with demand
One of the fundamental challenges in the food industry is matching supply with demand, which can fluctuate significantly, especially in seasonal or event-driven businesses. JIT delivery enables businesses to adapt swiftly to changing demand patterns. It allows them to respond quickly to increased orders during peak times and scale back during slower periods, reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking.
Cost efficiency and competitive advantage
By optimizing their supply chain with JIT delivery, food businesses can achieve significant cost efficiencies. Reduced waste, lower storage costs and improved resource allocation translate into a competitive advantage. These cost savings can be reinvested into product quality, customer service or expansion opportunities.
JIT here at Cooltrans
Just-In-Time delivery of supplies, particularly refrigerated food supplies, is a crucial strategy for food businesses. It helps minimise food waste, aligns with lean management practices, ensures product quality and safety, enables businesses to match supply with demand effectively and ultimately enhances cost efficiency and competitiveness. As the food industry continues to evolve, embracing JIT delivery is not just a matter of convenience but a strategic imperative for sustainable growth and success. Food businesses that adopt this approach are better equipped to thrive in a dynamic and competitive market, all while delivering fresh and delicious products to their customers.
Here at Cooltrans, we practice many JIT and lean management practices in ensuring prompt deliveries. This way, food businesses get to receive their supplies and be able to meet the fast-evolving customer demand.