Grocery Ecommerce

18 July 2018

FreshDirect has upped the ante in the race to win ecommerce grocery last mile delivery. Their highly-automated, 400,000 square-foot distribution center furthers their aim of providing the freshest food in the shortest amount of time. The facility boasts 15 temperature zones, 9 miles of conveyor belts, software directed order fulfillment, and the ability to receive perishable items such as fish and deliver to customer doors within 24 hours. The total U.S. grocery market is over $700 billion. Ecommerce grocery sales are only a small fraction of that total. However, ecommerce sales of food and alcohol are projected to rise 183% by 2021. FreshDirect is one of many industry leaders investing heavily to capture that growth while cutting order fulfillment times and delivery costs. Amazon, Target, Kroger, Walmart’s and others are also expanding and enhancing their ecommerce grocery last mile and warehouse operations.

Read more here in the original Wall Street Journal article. Also, see our case study on how we helped a leading global cold chain solutions provider launch a global innovation program that explored advanced technologies and the warehouse of the future.

NextGen Cup Challange

17 July 2018

Companies around the world are rapidly evolving to meet consumer standards regarding environmental sustainability. With surmounting evidence proving the issue of global warming, industries are beginning to look differently at their supply chains. Two competitors in the QSR world, McDonald’s and Starbucks, are actually teaming up to redesign their cups to be more eco-friendly. The leading initiative is called the NextGen Cup Challenge, and is an unprecedented attempt to reduce a company’s ecological footprint and reduce global waste. The two QSR giants are even encouraging other companies to join in on their quest to a better cup. Within three years, the companies are working together to produce a cup that is completely recyclable and compostable. Along with their new and improved cup, the companies are also planning to incorporate a new lid and straw. Ultimately, these will all reduce plastic, be totally recyclable, and still be functional to the consumer. What steps beyond cups will companies make to promote sustainability? Are McDonald’s and Starbucks ushering in a new era of QSR sustainability?

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Robotic Warehouse

17 July 2018

“We believe that the industry is ripe for disruption,” says TakeOff Technologies CEO and co-founder Jose Vicente Aguerrevere. That disruption Vicente Aguerrevere speaks of, is the automated grocery distribution market. The Boston area startup is revolutionizing so-called micro-fulfillment centers.  These centers conduct orders and catering by automatically fulfilling requests directly within supermarkets. Developing a “robotic warehouse” within the stores individuals shop can make the food-to-table process faster than ever. The whole process is expected to need approximately only a  half-an-hour lead time. The company announced a $12.5 million Series B rollout plan to launch in an unnamed supermarket in October. The Takeoff Technologies plans to utilize 10,000 square feet in it’s given 50,000-square-foot space. Leading competitors like CommonSense Robotics out of Israel, Instacart, AmazonFesh, Walmart, and Kroger also are aiming for highly efficient micro-fulfillment centers to roll out in the near future.

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18 May 2018

The 2018 Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 is an amazing summary and recognition of industry leading supply chains. Most noteworthy, Unilever repeated as the number one supply chain for the third year in a row. Another big development is McDonald’s joining Apple, P&G and Amazon as the top supply chains in the “masters” category. The “masters” category is a nod to companies that have continually ranked as top supply chains over the past decade. Gartner also notes three key trends across the top supply chains; an increased focus on customer experience, the acceleration of supply chain digitization initiatives, and improved sustainability practices.

Read more here in Gartner’s press release. Also, see our case studies on how we helped a “masters” category supply chain solutions provider create their global transformation strategy and launch a global innovation program.

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