Inside Logistics

US consumer brands build supply chain visibility group

Fifteen CPG companies are working in partnership with analytics firm FourKites


June 24, 2021
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The U.S.-based Consumer Brands Association has created a Supply Chain Health and Performance Task Force aimed at increasing visibility and easing supply chain pressures felt across the consumer packaged goods industry.

Comprising 15 CPG companies working in partnership with FourKites, the task force will use the supply chain visibility firm’s data and machine-learning capabilities to create an “air traffic control” system. It will be designed to give members a real-time view of their transportation footprint that will let them identify shared bottlenecks and inefficiencies within the supply chain.

The pandemic has brought global supply chain policy to the forefront and increased pressures on already-stressed CPG supply chains. In addition, a single disruption — a delay at a facility or unexpected traffic along a route — can affect multiple stakeholders, leading to costly dwell times and delayed arrivals. The goal of the task force is to prevent such delays by employing data sharing and bringing new visibility to supply chain routes through the FourKites platform.

“Covid-19 exposed supply chain vulnerabilities across all industries, but also created opportunities to collaborate,” said Consumer Brands vice-president of supply chain and logistics, Tom Madrecki.

“No company operates in a vacuum, and the same can be said of supply chains. The Supply Chain Health and Performance Task Force is the first step toward building a modern supply chain system that is resilient and can support the future of the CPG industry.”

In a world of connected supply chains, “it is critical that industries work together to find solutions that provide increased transparency to reduce disruption,” said task force member Land O’Lakes senior vice-president and chief supply chain officer Yone Dewberry.

“Every minute of reduced dwell time across the transportation system increases capacity, which stabilizes costs,” said Rob Haddock, group director of planning and logistics at The Coca-Cola Company, which is also part of the task force.

“Visibility of bottlenecks advances shipper/receiver of choice initiatives and supports analysis on where to target infrastructure investment. As the supply of drivers continues to diminish, we must focus on keeping trucks rolling via visibility and collaboration.”

The Consumer Brands Association represents nearly 2,000 brands. From household and personal care to food and beverage products, the consumer packaged goods industry plays a vital role in the U.S. economy, contributing US$2 trillion to GDP, and supporting more than 20 million American jobs.