Retail & Supply Chain

British food and beverage firms take up Quantzig's AI services to address distribution issues

by Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox
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Upheaval caused by coronavirus outbreak adds to existing concerns over quality control and cost optimization

Several UK food and beverage companies are seeking the services of Illinois-based analytics specialist Quantzig, to minimize spoilage and improve cost control amid supply chain and inventory changes caused by COVID-19. 

Collecting data throughout the production and distribution process, Quantzig’s system provides a tailored model of the items’ journey and highlights any potential bottlenecks, while also offering insights which can be used as proof of product quality. 

Due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the ensuing safety restrictions it now has to abide by, the food and beverages sector has had to adapt in unexpected ways, altering processes from the point of manufacture and throughout the supply chain. 

Products originally aimed at restaurants are now being delivered directly to consumers, and supermarkets are expected to see their online sales increase by 25 percent in 2020, as per recent study by GlobalData.

The world is changing

Quantzig’s analytics platform, the company claims, discovers “niche areas” where it can improve growth - from merchandise planning and e-commerce insights to logistics, transportation, distribution center, and freight analysis. 

Even before the arrival of COVID-19, the sector had suffered major disruption, as consumer behavior shifted away from traditional purchasing in favor of a more service-centric model - which has had a large knock-on effect on supply chains. 

Artificial Intelligence technologies are increasingly being adopted up and down the supply chain to improve processes in agriculture, manufacturing and packaging, quality control and even food safety. 

New York’s Cornell University recently agreed a research partnership with IBM, planning to use genetic sequencing and big data analytics to detect food hazards in milk in order to protect the global supply of dairy products. 

Large firms including PepsiCo, Kraft-Heinz, AB InBev, Coca-Cola Femsa and Heineken all use Blue Yonder (formally JDA) Luminate software, which runs on Microsoft Azure and uses AI and machine learning to address supply chain issues.

Cost control and process optimization are bound to be an even bigger concern than usual, however, as FTSE 100 companies in the food, beverages, and accommodation sectors have seen revenues drop by 75 percent year-on-year in the week beginning May 14th 2020, according to Stock Market Wire.

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