What does it take to build a thriving business in the beverage industry? Great products, efficient production systems, excellent marketing, and top-notch customer service come to mind. However, without a way to keep everything flowing from one step of the process to the next, a successful business can quickly go bust.
Poor supply chain management can result in production delays, distribution issues, upset customers, and of course, a whole lot of stress and anxiety for business owners. Trends in the overall supply chain industry affect beverage companies, too, so being aware of the latest supply chain news is essential.
In this article, we’re highlighting some significant supply chain challenges currently affecting our industry and how to overcome them.
1. Supply of Raw Materials and Ingredients
Beverage manufacturers depend on other producers for key materials and ingredients. When suppliers are affected, the impact can be felt all down the supply chain. With inventories at an all-time low, beverage manufacturers who rely on only one or two suppliers for key ingredients or materials can face a logistical disaster if their suppliers are unable to deliver.
With high demand and limited supply, there is also an increased risk of food fraud. Beverage manufacturers need to be on the lookout for counterfeit products, ingredients that are modified or enhanced with additives, and contaminated supplies to ensure that their final products are of the highest quality when they reach consumers.
2. Delays in Shipping and Delivery
Partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partly due to domestic factors, the shipping and trucking industries are facing major setbacks. A trucker shortage, backed-up ports around the world, and higher shipping costs are putting a strain on supply chains globally – and this impacts beverage producers as well.
Working with perishable items presents an additional challenge, as beverage manufacturers have to find ways to ensure the freshness of their constituent ingredients and final products as they move through the supply chain to customers. This trend is set to continue into 2023, which means the beverage industry will have to find ways to navigate this going forward.
3. Changing Regulations and Requirements
Rules and regulations are an integral part of running a business, and these affect companies in our supply chains as well. However, new laws and policies can pose challenges to beverage companies in ensuring compliance.
The Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), for example, places additional burdens on small business owners who have to bear the extra costs and factor in delays in delivery. As a beverage manufacturer keen to stay on the right side of the law, keeping track of changes in supply chain regulations is of utmost importance.
4. Complexities in Navigating Path to Market
Gone are the days of only worrying about getting your product to consumers via grocery stores and supermarkets. Consumers increasingly rely on e-commerce platforms and online purchases for their beverage needs which means manufacturers have to rise to the challenge of delivering goods directly to them.
This adds an element of complexity to operations beyond simply collaborating with retailers to get products to market. Instead, beverage manufacturers who want to capture the market have to factor in additional supply chain considerations like the best way to reach and deliver to consumers directly in a cost-efficient manner.
5. Delivering Top-Notch Customer Experiences
When the supply chain is defective, customer experience suffers – and unhappy customers won’t hesitate to switch to your competitors. In a complex supply chain environment, it is evident that beverage manufacturers have their work cut out for them to ensure these challenges do not produce poor outcomes for customers.
Whether through in-built redundancies or incorporating buffers to account for delays, beverage manufacturers need to step up their game to continually deliver top-notch customer experiences with their products.
Solving Supply Chain Challenges in the Beverage Industry
There’s no denying that finding solutions to supply chain challenges should be of utmost importance to beverage manufacturers. However, oftentimes these solutions remain outside the control, scope, and expertise of a beverage producer just entering the market. That’s where having a team of industry experts with years of experience on your side can be a gamechanger.
At WiseBev, we understand the beverage market. As experts in beverage consulting, you can count on us to help you navigate supply chain challenges by offering novel beverage systems that are fully ready for commercialization. Book a call with us today to see how our team can help you bring your beverage to market!