Businesses and supply chains have become substantially more global over the last decade. Between 1995 and 2007, the number of transnational companies more than doubled, from 38,000 to 79,000, and foreign subsidiaries nearly tripled, from 265,000 to 790,000. 1 In addition to spreading geographically, supply chains now involve more companies. Nearly 80 percent of executives say they expect the number of collaborative relationships with third parties to increase. 2 And an ever-broader range of activities is being outsourced: between 2007 and 2010, R&D outsourcing is forecast to increase by 65 percent, and engineering services and product-design projects by more than 80 percent. 3 Supply chains must also contend with rapidly expanding and contracting product portfolios. In the consumer products industry, for example, product introductions increased by 17 percent in 2006 — more than double the 2005 rate. 4 Portfolio rationalization is eliminating SKUs almost as fast. Together, these shifts are creating constant turmoil.
Volatile. That’s perhaps the best word to describe today’s global market-place. Like economies and financial markets, as supply chains have grown more global and interconnected, they’ve also increased their exposure to shocks and disruptions. Supply chain speed only exacerbates the problem. Even minor missteps and miscalculations can have major consequences as their impacts spread like viruses throughout complex supply chain networks. How are supply chain executives coping? As part of our recent Global Chief Supply Chain Officer Study, we spoke with 400 senior executives from North America, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific region who are responsible for their organizations’ supply chain strategies and operations. Our discussions revealed five key findings related to: Cost containment — Rapid, constant change is rocking this traditional area of strength and outstripping supply chain executives’ ability to adapt. Visibility — Flooded with more information than ever, supply chain executives still struggle to “see” and act on the right information. Risk — CFOs are not the only senior executives urgently concerned about risk; risk management ranks remarkably high on the supply chain agenda as well. Customer intimacy — Despite demand-driven mantras, companies are better connected to their suppliers than their customers. Globalization — Contrary to initial rationale, globalization has proven to be more about revenue growth than cost savings. These findings suggest that supply chains — and the executives charged with managing them — are under severe pressure. As compliance mandates, suppliers and information flows multiply, supply chains are becoming more complex, costly and vulnerable. And executives are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to these challenges, especially with conventional supply chain strategies and designs. This is not to say companies have ignored these issues; in our findings, we see no shortage of supply chain improvement projects. But our research suggests it’s no longer enough to build supply chains that are efficient, demand-driven or even transparent....
Our political leaders are not the only ones who have been handed a mandate for change. Leaders of businesses and institutions everywhere have a unique opportunity to transform the way the world works. The world continues to get “smaller” and “flatter.” But we see now that being connected isn’t enough. Fortunately, something else is happening that holds new potential: the planet is becoming smarter. That is, intelligence is being infused into the way the world literally works — into the systems, processes and infrastructure that enable physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold. That allow services to be delivered. That facilitate the movement of everything from money, food and oil to water and electrons. And that help billions of people work and live. How is this possible? First, the world is becoming instrumented. Imagine, if you can, a billion transistors for every human being. We’re almost there. Sensors are being embedded everywhere: in cars, appliances, cameras, roads, pipelines…even in medicine and livestock. Second, our world is becoming interconnected. Soon, there will be two billion people on the Internet — but systems and objects can now “speak” to each other, as well. Think of a trillion connected and intelligent things, and the oceans of data they will produce. Third, all of those instrumented and interconnected things are becoming intelligent. They are being linked to powerful new backend systems that can process all that data, and to advanced analytics capable of turning it into real insight, in real time. With computational power now being put into things we wouldn’t recognize as computers, any person, any object, any process or service and any organization — large or small — can become digitally aware, connected and smart. With so much technology and networking available at such low cost, what wouldn’t you enhance? What wouldn’t you connect? What information wouldn’t you mine for insight? What service wouldn’t you provide a customer, a citizen, a student or a patient? The answer is, you will do all these things — because you can.
ScanTech Holdings is comprised of 2 Subsidiary Integrator Companies: IBS is responsible for the development, manufacturing and service of our ‘Inspection Systems’ product line, now with the exclusive QUADRAD™ Multi-Energy Material Discrimination technology. This product line is designed and engineered to non-intrusively locate and specifically differentiate, in real time, hidden contraband materials such as illegal drugs, weapons, explosives, and other instruments of terror at the world’s airports, seaports, borders, and other facilities and buildings. STS is responsible for our 'Food Pasteurization' product line. Utilizing our world-class E-Beam and X-Ray accelerator subsystems, STS has engineered and developed our custom line of Food Irradiation Systems to pasteurize and disinfect a variety of global food products including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood.
We need to make sure our food system is safe. In the U.S. alone, 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses occur each year. Imports account for nearly 60% of the fruits and vegetables we consume, and 75% of the seafood. Yet only 1% of those foods are inspected before they cross our shores. We need it to be affordable. Consumer product firms and retailers lose $40 billion annually, or 3.5% of their sales, due to supply chain inefficiencies. And the true cost of food production can’t always be captured in dollars. Sixty years ago, we could create a calorie of food with less than half a calorie of fossil fuel. Today, a single calorie of modern supermarket food requires 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce. Instrumented Information that was previously created by people will increasingly be machine-generated — flowing out of sensors, RFID tags, meters, actuators, GPS and more. Inventory will count itself. Containers will detect their contents. Pallets will report in if they end up in the wrong place. Interconnected The entire supply chain will be connected — not just customers, suppliers and IT systems in general, but also parts, products and other smart objects used to monitor the supply chain. Extensive connectivity will enable worldwide networks of supply chains to plan and make decisions together. Intelligent These supply chain decisions will also be much smarter. Advanced analytics and modeling will help decision makers evaluate alternatives against an incredibly complex and dynamic set of risks and constraints. And smarter systems will even make some decisions automatically — increasing responsiveness and limiting the need for human intervention. Building this kind of supply chain is a strategic undertaking; it implies a different role and set of responsibilities for supply chain executives. These executives must become strategic thinkers, collaborators and orchestrators who optimize complex networks of global capabilities. In their increasingly significant positions, Chief Supply Chain Officers have the mandate — and now the enablers — to create a Smarter Supply Chain of the Future.
Government agencies that regulate food safety are also increasingly under fire as they try to answer the public’s demand for greater accountability with limited ff and resources. Unsafe food causes many acute and life-long diseases, ranging from diarrheal diseases to various forms of cancer. WHO estimates that foodborne and waterborne diarrheal diseases taken together kill about 2.2 million people annually, 1.9 million of them children. Foodborne diseases and threats to food safety constitute a growing public health problem. The Fifty-third World Health Assembly, in resolution WHA53.15, requested the Director-General to put in place a global strategy for surveillance of foodborne diseases and to initiate a range of other activities on food safety and health. Since then WHO has organized a strategy planning meeting on food safety (Geneva, 20-22 February 2001). The goal will be achieved through three principal lines of action: • Advocating and supporting the development of risk-based, sustainable, integrated food safety systems; • Devising science-based measures along the entire food production chain that will prevent exposure to unacceptable levels of microbiological agents and chemicals in food; • Assessing and managing foodborne risks and communicating information, in cooperation with other sectors and partners. Safety of new technologies. WHO will promote a holistic approach to the production and safe use of foods derived from new methods of production, including genetic engineering. This approach is supported by a framework for evaluation that includes safety considerations, health benefits, environmental effects, and socioeconomic consequences. The framework provides a basis for internationally agreed methods and guidelines for evaluating the safety of new technologies and guidance for Member States in framing policies on the use of foods and food ingredients derived by new technologies.
The food value chain—comprising literally tens of thousands of participants of varying size and sophistication spread across the globe —is a daunting enterprise to summarize. For our purposes, we have grouped and summarized participants into the following value chain (see Figure A). While this figure represents a gross simplification of the web of participants and their interactions it does enable a structured assessment of the existing and emerging stresses, and provides a framework for considering solutions. Food safety issues present problems for more than just consumers. Food growers and consumer product manufacturers are facing a crisis of confidence from their customers while they struggle to institute appropriate safety measures in the face of rising costs. Government agencies that regulate food safety are also increasingly under fire as they try to answer the public’s demand for greater accountability with limited staff and resources.
The U.S. has not been the victim of a large-scale, successful agroterrorism attack. However, there are serious vulnerabilities within our agricultural and food processing systems that must be addressed. Through an iterative process of risk assessment, risk control, and verification of implemented deterrents, all pertinent agricultural interests, regulators, scientists, and public health officials can improve the defensive position of this key industry and strive to reduce the threat of agroterrorism as much as possible.
Today’s global supply chain requires that product detail be comprehensive and reliable—and when ScanTech & IBM help you uncover this rich data, you have a way to streamline the distribution chain and reduce spoilage rates. Regardless of whether food and beverage manufacturers promote their products’ safety, it is extremely important to monitor and track suppliers in order to avoid food safety issues and potential product recalls. ScanTech & IBM ® offer food safety solutions that lead the industry, delivering unprecedented value for those who seek to ensure the safety of food products. Armed with end-to-end visibility and traceability, consumer products companies have a way to track and trace food from a sellable unit level all the way back to each individual ingredient. Few investments offer more opportunity for demonstrable returns. Given the stiff competition and product proliferation in the marketplace, companies with an appetite for success must be able to successfully differentiate their products from the many others on the shelves. At the same time, they must be able to keep costs down, yet still keep up with ever-changing regulations and food safety protocols, customer preferences and brand strategies. Those companies that do so effectively may be able to have their cake and eat it, too.
In fact, consumer product and retail industries lose about $40 billion annually, or 3.5% of their sales, due to supply chain inefficiencies. This issue took center stage in 2008 and 2009 with a series of highly publicized recalls around the globe of products as diverse as spinach, milk, peanuts, ground beef, and jalapenos sickened thousands. Awareness of the food safety issue and its cross channel impact has been growing and consumers the world over are increasingly concerned about the safety of the food they eat and farmers feeling the financial impact of recalls. A sample of contaminations and recalls since 2005 is shown in figure C. The global trade in food, myriad regulations and inspection standards, and the complexity of the processed food we eat are all complicating efforts to improve food safety. In the U.S. for example imports account for nearly 60 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed, and 75 percent of the seafood. However, only one percent of those foods are inspected before they enter the country. Food safety issues present problems for more than just consumers. Food growers and consumer product manufacturers are facing a crisis of confidence from their customers while they struggle to institute appropriate safety measures in the face of rising costs. Government agencies that regulate food safety are also increasingly under fire as they try to answer the public’s demand for greater accountability with limited staff and resources.
FINDINGS: Consumer Attitude Research on Food Irradiation Labeling Other terms tested with consumers included: Radiation, Ionization, Electronic pasteurization, Energy pasteurization “Cold pasteurization” (ECP), was seen as the best alternative to “food irradiation” Consumers would accept - Cold pasteurization (irradiation) “ Consumer Understanding and Acceptance of Food Irradiation”
A broad spectrum of national and international studies conclude that Electronic Cold Pasteurization can accomplish the following: • inhibit sprouting in crops like potatoes, onions and garlic; • destroy insects and parasites in cereal grains, dried beans, dried and fresh fruits, meat and seafood; • delay the ripening and spoilage of fresh fruits and vegetables; • extend the shelf-life of perishable products like beef, poultry and seafood; • eliminate disease-causing microorganisms in food; bacterial and fungal spores and viruses are not affected by the most commonly used dose levels; • sterilize at doses above 10 kGy herbs, spices and other ingredients like dried vegetables, in addition to foods prescribed for immuno-compromised hospital patients and for astronauts during space flight. An extensive review of science related to microbiological safety indicates that ECP is an effective solution to the problem of microbial contamination. Under good manufacturing practices assuring proper handling of the product, irradiation eliminates harmful bacteria that can cause lethal food poisoning and food spoilage. Irradiation is endorsed as a food safety process by independent health organizations and regulatory agencies around the world.
Reduce cost and avoid IT spending Control staff costs Reduce development effort Share the administration load thru self-service Automate mundane data entry and maintenance tasks Defer capital spending Put existing tools to better use Heighten safety & security posture Audit changes to sensitive systems All systems compliant with safety & security policies and regulations Solve LOB safety & security initiatives Enroll partners into and off e-business systems Develop new custom systems faster Get users productive quickly Establish privacy & safety controls Enforce data release based on business purpose (transaction too) Keep data private according to policy and personal profiles
Value: Accelerate Solution roll out with simple, unified security & safety posture • Maintain compliance with privacy mandates, industry requirements • Mitigate safety gaps that threaten operational integrity • Adopt extended enterprise, new modes of interaction with external parties
Regardless of whether food and beverage manufacturers promote their products’ safety, it is extremely important to monitor and track suppliers in order to avoid food safety issues and potential product recalls. Trying to manage these problems in isolation is no longer an option. Fortunately, a smarter global food system is at hand - one that is more connected, instrumented and intelligent .
Finally, a smarter food value chain will be intelligent—capturing, leveraging and sharing standardized data and integrated information to generate insights on optimizing the value chain. Smart technology can improve the complex process that is the production, distribution, storage, selling, consumption and disposal of food. Elements include improved planning and coordination, efficient storage and dynamic routing, optimization for cost, carbon and other attributes and improved traceability. The result can be more, safer, higher quality food delivered when and where it is needed, and with reduced waste and an extended shelf life. A smarter food system means end-to-end visibility across the entire global supply chain. So scarce resources can be more thoughtfully managed. So people can have more confidence in the quality of their food. So the whole world can put healthy meals on the table. Let’s build a smarter planet.
As the world becomes smaller and “flatter,” countries that at one time seemed distant are now primary sources of our food supply. Many of those countries do not have consistent standards for quality, process and accountability. Additionally, this complex system impacts and is impacted by other global systems — from energy to climate to healthcare to trade. The result is a whole host of inefficiencies arising from issues of scarcity, safety, sustainability and cost. And an opportunity for our food system to get a lot smarter. While technology alone cannot deliver a solution to the myriad stresses impacting the food value chain, its application to create a smarter food value chain— one that is increasingly instrumented, interconnected and intelligent—is essential.