The Food Shippers of America Blog

PLM TrustLink™ Solution Increases Profit Margins and Food Safety

by PLM Fleet LLC |Sponsored Content, on Oct 24, 2022 10:21:51 PM


PLM Fleet is well known as the expert for fleet solutions and regulatory compliance within refrigerated transport, but you might not know that PLM has studied and developed solutions for food shippers’ operational handoffs among stakeholders in the supply chain. PLM has developed a product called PLM TrustLink™, a comprehensive, cloud based IoT management solution for automated, touchless, condition monitoring of supply chain ecosystems which drives efficiencies at the product level. 

The Challenge: 

According to a recent food industry Operational & Financial Report, Labor and Inventory Control continue to be major challenges within the food distribution community.  Food shippers face increased competition with age-old operational challenges such as inaccurate inventory, shrinkage, food waste and loss, incomplete deliveries, delivery rejections, quality discounts, and counterfeit products — and must absorb the increased cost associated with each. Such unnecessary waste increases business costs and reduces profit margins.  Technologies used in the current distribution centers weren’t built for the modern era, which calls for fast, accurate, detailed, real-time information. Many companies still use antiquated, manual processes — including handwritten documents, spreadsheets, email, and phone calls — to share information about products internally and externally with partners in the chain.  These processes are time-consuming, inefficient, and prone to error — wasting money and labor every day. 

The impact of using 50-year-old technology like the barcode within the food supply chain with WMS and ERP systems that don’t communicate have enormous associated costs:

  • USDA reports 40% of our food is wasted;
  • GMA reports the average recall cost is $10 Million;
  • PEW Survey reports 55% of consumers will stop purchasing products that are under recall;
  • Bloomberg reports food fraud costs are $40 billion annually; and
  • Oceana reports 1/3 of our seafood is mislabeled.

The pandemic exposed food ecosystem vulnerabilities of one up, one back of the supply chain. Although, there was no real food shortage in the US during the pandemic, there was a visibility challenge as we switched from the restaurant to grocery supply chain which did not easily cross over distribution channels. We have entered the era of digital convergence which is an important step to increase the resiliency of the supply chain and provide traceability, transparency, and trust to the supply chain.

The Solution:

PLM TrustLink™ captures case level product KDE’s (Key Data Elements) and CTE’s (Critical Tracking Events) within the 4 walls and has the capability to extend along the entire supply chain to provide financial and food safety benefits. The foundational principles are simple - Mark • Digitize • Utilize - and can be used repeatedly across the entire supply chain.  Once product is marked, it can then be digitized with a unique birth certificate to be shared within the facility and or along the supply chain in a permissioned platform to provide benefits to reduce operational cost.  This visibility allows food supply chain stakeholders to provide real-time inventory data and product status to drive out cost and provide consumer confidence in the supply chain.  PLM TrustLink™ provides the 3 T’s of the supply chain - Trust * Transparency * Traceability - to reduce operational cost and deliver safe food to the consumer.

Consumers highly desire farm-to-fork product information and businesses rely on trust and smooth handoffs between trading partners, from the farm to food shippers to restaurant and grocery retailers to the consumer.  Leveraging PLM TrustLink™ as the foundation, food supply chain stakeholders have a means of sharing KDE’s and CTE’s for enhanced visibility and improved efficiencies that include real-time temperature monitoring.  PLM TrustLink™ provides the ability to digitize the entire ecosystem, making collaboration with trading partners easier thereby delivering mutual benefits across WMS and ERP systems that do not traditionally communicate with one another.   PLM TrustLink™ has the ability to scan a tag without having line of sight. This ability eliminates the need to scan individual cases, providing the ability to efficiently capturing KDE’s and CTE’s electronically within its warehouse and transport and supply real-time digital receipt upon shipment’s acceptance.  

PLM TrustLink™ reimagines a digitized supply chain and provides operational dividends to its business partners by improving visibility and enabling mutual supply chain efficiencies that save time and money.  PLM TrustLink™ offers several one-on-one opportunities to identify inefficiencies to improve quality, food safety, inventory management, and reduction of waste in the supply chain with a comprehensive approach - one stop we do it all.  Call TrustLink™ for your evaluation today.

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