Where sales growth is largely moderate, sectors which operate close to the end user such as the consumer goods industry have to assert their position in fragmented markets against global competition with a large product portfolio. Tough competition within the retail and rising raw material costs are placing this sector under considerable cost pressure. At the same time, brand loyalty is dwindling, there is mounting pressure to introduce discounts and special campaigns, and the proportion of cut-price deals is on the increase. These factors, coupled with the short product life cycles and the emergence of the internet as a new sales channel, are calling for adapted and highly flexible processes.
The food industry is also increasingly confronted by more stringent health and freshness demands. To guarantee a seamless system of quality assurance, a modern food chain management system is called for which combines precise knowledge of food and its production with logistics and effective marketing strategies.
Challenges in maintaining the competitiveness:
- Globalization of production and supply chains
- Profound understanding of new markets and sales channels, multi-channel distribution
- Lean management in production and logistics to increase efficiency and flexibility
- Efficient consumer response (ECR): Optimization of the entire supply chain – sales units, planning, procurement, production – by means of smart SCM approaches, in particular for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)
- High level of shelf availability with dwindling customer requirement predictability
- Implementation of organic, carbon footprint and green logistics trends
- Safeguarding fair trade channels in the product portfolio and supply chain