The importance of a secure supply chain


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With the global population expected to reach nine billion by the year 2050, the question of how to produce food for all those extra mouths is a worrying one for anyone involved in agriculture.

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The importance of a secure supply chain

  1. 1. Digital Re-print - May | June 2014 The importance of a secure supply chain Grain & Feed MillingTechnology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2014 Perendale Publishers Ltd.All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
  2. 2. W ith the global population expected to reach nine billion by the year 2050, the question of how to produce food for all those extra mouths is a worrying one for anyone involved in agriculture. Suppliers of feed and grain to the world’s livestock and animal industry are under immense pressure to not only provide an efficient service, but to ensure that products meet tough safety standards. While few companies are completely transparent about their supply chain – intense competition makes them wary of dis- closing too much – in a market where trust and reliability is a crucial element of business, customers need to see the full picture. It’s a point that Chris Barnes knows all too well, in his new role as head of supply chain and procurement at pathogen control specialist Anitox. “Trust is what underpins the client rela- tionship in any business,” says Mr Barnes and the animal feed safety industry is no different. “Coupled with that is the expectation from key customers, of an ever increasing range of value-added services and innovative products that will improve their feed conver- sion ratios (FCRs),” adds Mr Barnes. Supplying clean and safe feed is of para- mount importance to businesses in the feed and grain market, especially where animal health is concerned - there is no room for error. As a specialist in the control of pathogens and microbes in feed, Anitox has to ensure that its products reach customers in the best possible condition, being able to fulfill potential and perform at maximum efficacy. “In this marketplace your commercial success is dependent on the reliability and performance of your products. Anitox prides itself on its science-backed approach to busi- ness, so the challenge is to build a supply sys- tem that reflects this principle while building us a reputation as a reliable supply partner. “In the feed safety industry that kind of reputation is invaluable,” says Mr Barnes. Understanding demand Supply excellence starts with a thorough understanding of a company’s clients’ businesses, he explains. That means gathering a full under- standing of demand and how it fluctuates – fundamental knowledge if you’re to ensure your product is in the right place at the right time. “There’s no substitute for this. Neglect it and all confidence will be lost.” Mr Barnes cites the example of one of the company’s main products, Termin-8. It’s a feed additive that’s used to eliminate pathogens and microbes from animal feed. “To reach the intended results and fulfill customer’s expectations, our product must be delivered on time, in a safe and secure manner. Part of the success of our products depends upon a fully-functioning supply chain system, that can guarantee safe passage of our product so that it delivers the results we promise.” Armed with the knowledge and under- standing of a client’s demand profile, fore- casting models can identify and highlight occasions when the supply chain might fall short, as well as predicting when product needs to be readily available for despatch. Planning to match demand is the core of a solid and reliable supply chain model. Global supplies Modern global trade means many manu- facturing companies are reliant on raw mate- rial supply from anywhere in the world, thanks to ever more efficient transportation links. Of course, while that means costs can be reduced, it brings with it a particular type of risk. “Price and quality may dictate that you buy your raw materials from halfway across the world,” Mr Barnes acknowledges. “But the further the product has to travel, the more likely it is that something will go wrong at one point or another. “In a supply chain role, you’re prepared to expect the unexpected. What is Plan B? “For us, it’s about ensuring there’s always someone else who can supply your most important raw materials at very short notice. No matter what the problem, or whose fault it was, telling your customer that our supplier let them down simply won’t suffice. We must be prepared to present alterna- tives and work on a solution to supply our customer’s needs.” Supply chain links It’s inevitable that supply chain links will break from time to time, but the measure of a good company is how well it deals with those situations. “Demand fluctuation presents us with our trickiest challenge,” continues Chris, “which results in two problems in particular: over-stocking and short supply time. “Over-stocking can mean a prod- uct is stored for longer than anticipated. Sometimes that happens in locations that aren’t ideal for long-term, or even medium- term storage. That can result in product loss and economic losses. “Meanwhile, short supply creates the opposite problem: an inability to fulfill an order while leaving the customer with a loss of confidence and without the product it needs,” Mr Barnes. Now that Anitox is in an expansion phase, that brings with it an entirely new set of challenges. Growing size and customer base demands that plans are put in place to stop gaps appearing. “If you’re moving into new areas, then inevitably it increases the distance between the production base and the customer’s location. “At Anitox, for example, we have half of our manufacturing sites in North America and yet our customer base is global. By 2020 we expect to be doing more business in Latin America and Asia than the rest of the world put together. “We’re continually scrutinising our supply chain, to identify and resolve potential risks with our manufacturing set-up. The constant reassessment of potential solutions, whether that’s relocating manufacturing plants, build- ing new ones or looking for alternative sourcing to better supply our wider markets, means we’re always best placed to react to events.” Creation of new local manufacturing plants can bring huge benefits, creating new business opportunities and increas- ing consumer confidence by shortening the link in supply – but they’re reliant on having the volume of product flowing into that area. “By predicting and modeling this type of movement, we can make plans that allow us to secure an efficient supply chain system into the future,” says Mr Barnes. Whatever the line of business, customer commitment and confidence-building is enhanced through the creation of honest and transparent supply chain models. Not only does it identify potential risks, but it also forces the business to address any problems head-on. The importance of a secure supply chain 50 | May - June 2014 GRAIN&FEED MILLING TECHNOLOGYF
  3. 3. Hydronix sensors include: • Digital technology with precise linear output • Wide moisture measurement range • Suitable for chutes, silos, mixers or conveyors • Choice of measurement modes • Not affected by dust or colour • Different installation options • Temperature stable Hydro-Mix VII The Hydro-Probe XT has been specifically designed to measure moisture in organic materials, typically being installed in or underneath silos or in the material on a conveyor. The Hydro-Mix VII is a flush mounted sensor that is ideally suited to installation in mixers, augers or the inlet / outlet of grain dryers. Both sensors offer a choice of digital measurement modes enabling the producer to select the best option for the material being measured. Hydro-Probe XT Hydronix digital, microwave moisture sensors are designed and manufactured in the UK and provide accurate and cost effective moisture measurement and control in feed meals and pellets, grain, cereal and pulses. Hydronix Moisture Sensors Save You Money GFMT half page vertical 90 x 270 plus 3mm bleed not left.indd 1 13/01/2014 10:00:18 w w w . a a r s e n . c o m Maximize your process with lowest operational costs PELLET MILL • Low energy consumption • Low maintenance costs and excellent durability • Largest effective die surface • High lifetime of die and rollers May - June 2014 | 51GRAIN&FEED MILLING TECHNOLOGY F
  4. 4. LINKS • See the full issue • Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION In this issue: • Role of extruders in Halal food production • Fortification Fortification in rice and flour • IAOM 118th Annual Conference & Expo May-June2014 • GM soybeans The on-farm facts • Harvest conditions: wheat quality and addressing issues • The Mills Archive GFMT becomes a patron first published in 1891 This digital Re-print is part of the May | June 2014 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edi- tion please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more informa- tion on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: or visit