Which FMCG Supply Chain Sustainability Trends Crucial in 2024?

Image showing FMCG Supply chain sustainability trends is Crucial in 2024

The FMCG supply chain is on a critical curve historically. Speeding through the new normal with industry-changing lessons, introducing automation and blockchain across supply chain operations, and realising the supply chain sustainability trends and concepts are challenges that fueled the discussion at India’s Biggest FMCG Supply Chain Conference “FMCG Connect 2024.”

The conference proved highly insightful amidst a tumultuous period when the FMCG supply chain industry underwent major technological upheaval — credited to IoT, machine learning, and AI-driven automation.

For FleetRobo, it was an opportunity to touch base with the latest industry trends and discover improvement areas to extend effective and efficient fleet management solutions. Throughout the event, we took note of the future trends and how companies can maximise today’s supply chain metrics for increased innovation, the factors for distribution excellence, and ways to achieve data-driven sustainability.

Identifying future supply chain sustainability trends and innovation

Redefining and implementing crucial new metrics and fostering true innovation across the supply chain is an imperative that pushes the industry toward growth. Here are some of the key trends discussed at the conference —

  • The use of blockchain technology for data storage, retrieval, asset allocation, and supply chain traceability.
  • Implementation of sustainability by considering reduced water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, optimising space of packaging, and impact of microplastics.
  • Adoption of green logistics by introducing EVs across the supply chain. However, companies need to think of greener ways to generate energy, for example, from thermal to solar.Umesh Madhyan quote on supply chain sustainability trends
  • Realisation of modern-day technology to make the supply chain more traceable and visible since the unit cost of traceability is coming down to a point where the benefits of tech upgrades outweigh the costs.
  • Inclusivity across the supply chain is critical to promote sustainability. All stakeholders involved in the supply chain need to work in partnerships instead of sticking to the age-old Cost Vs. Service concept.

The essential factor of supply chain distribution excellence

Setting the stage for a comprehensive discussion on supply chain management was Nestle’s Priyanka Chauhan, a key panellist at the FMCG Connect 2024.

For the Project Leader, the world of quick commerce and supply chain can be effectively integrated through three main factors — 1) Speed, 2) Agility, and 3) Efficiency. Chauhan believes the supply chain can be used to drive profitability if key decision-makers understand the technology and put the right systems in place.

Amol Ghanekar quote on supply chain sustainability trends

  • However, the supply chain industry can achieve distribution excellence only if the companies approach distribution with comprehensive and regional targets.
  • Setting the correct key deliverables (cost, service, automation, sustainability, infra upgradation, and more) through extensive whitepaper exercise and managing the internal constraints facilitate the comprehensive approach.
  • On the contrary, companies can even deploy a more direct approach, i.e., delivering the products from the factory to the customers. Nestle, for example, is consistently removing its warehouse leg for factors related to cost and sustainability.

Regardless of individualistic preferences, Chauhan claims to ditch the Cost vs. Sustainability debate and focus more on a comprehensive approach that pushes companies to derive cost benefits from sustainability. She applauds the use of EVs throughout the supply chain and suggests sourcing power from a greener alternative, for example, solar energy.

Supply chain sustainability trends to turn data into revenue streams for tomorrow

The supply chain industry is in want of data-driven and optimised operations and processes that, once coupled with data analytics, provide growth-inducing predictive insights. Automation is the need of the hour, which depends on the quality of data collected and processed.

Therefore, in order to ensure quality and reliability, Nestle recommends automating and optimising one step of the supply chain at a time. Simultaneously, key decision-makers should not wait for a tool that does it all since optimising one step at a time allows them to focus on solutions that work and provide results.

For example, Vadilal’s Keyur Doshi developed a data management system and integrated it with SAP to assess the changing customer and product demands. As they procured SAP Ariba to conduct data-centric negotiations with suppliers, they found themselves the right supplier that understood the customer demand changes.

Another major upgrade Vadilal introduced in their supply chain was the development of an alert system to allow all supply chain stakeholders information about fleet visibility. Companies planning to implement such alert-driven fleet management solutions should consider our geofence and GPS-driven digital lock solution that can also be coupled with advanced video telematics for improved supply chain visibility.

Key steps for sustainable data point planning

Adding to the discussion was Manoj Soni from VKC Nuts and Nutraj, who recommends data point planning and accuracy since it impacts every aspect of the supply chain, i.e., planning, sourcing, manufacturing, and dispatch. He suggests —

  • Setting the right data benchmarks for the company should be a priority.
  • Strategic S&OP data planning at the highest level as the data output from one part of the chain becomes data input for the other.
  • Root Cause Analysis implementation if the supply chain operations and processes don’t meet the set standards and expectations.
  • Ensure one point of truth (for data collection and retrieval) because every phase of the supply chain responsible for data management will be defensive.
  • Implementing data standardisation and sanitisation benchmarks will allow only one data to move through the chains so the team can go back to data sanitisation if a process goes wrong.

Manoj Soni quotes on supply chain sustainability trends

This is one of the main reasons why we provide customised fleet management SaaS solutions through FleetRobo that allow companies to use telematics data more effectively and profitably.

Conclusion on Supply Chain Sustainability Trends

As we navigate through the decade, it is quite clear that supply chain management will undergo significant transformation. The technological advancements and changing business mindsets of decision-makers aim to enable effective real-time tracking, reduced TAT, and increased customer satisfaction — all this while promoting data-driven sustainability.

The FMCG Connect 2024 conference is an excellent example of how key decision-makers in some of the most impactful business organisations are on the same page and have their sustainability-related missions aligned. FleetRobo supports their need for highly advanced and data-driven fleet management solutions to overcome modern-day supply chain challenges across the country.

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