Retailers’ ordering systems have become finely tuned machines, which take into account normal demand and manage stock in the supply chain, shelf lives and waste. This means that unexpected spikes, such as panic buying in the case of coronavirus, will often lead to empty shelves.
To avoid this, supermarkets and other food retailers need to be more flexible in their supply chain. A key step in this process is to implement forecasting technology, which uses AI to predict spikes and troughs in supply and demand, rather than just relying on traditional statistical approaches. This will allow them to be more prepared for these ‘shocks’.
With this level of preparedness, retailers can use digital twin technology to virtually plan their supply chain strategies, testing their effectiveness in the process. Indeed, our recent research shows that 56% of overachieving retailers are already modelling contingency plans for supply chain disruptions. Ideally, each retailer would have multiple contingency plans to ensure, no matter the disruption, they have a solution which puts food on the shelves – and leaves no one going hungry.