In the May 2009 issue of Food Logistics magazine, Gary Nowacki, CEO of TraceGains, suggested, “There are technology solutions available to overcoming the high cost of perishable shrink and they must prioritize inventory and shipments based on FEFO: First Expired, First Out.” The FEFO concept is based on the following core ideas:
1) Temperature control must be monitored.
2) Temperature varies greatly inside a storage room, container or truck.
3) Even slight temperature variation affects the remaining shelf life of produce and temperature exposure has a cumulative effect.
4) Identifying the temperature exposure of individual pallets or cases of produce allows prioritization on the basis of remaining shelf life, instead of simple transit and storage times.
Perishable shrink costs retailers a tremendous amount of money. Vulnerable items such as meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and flowers can expire prematurely due to incorrect temperature handling in the supply chain. Transportation and interim storage at the distribution center all affect the final quality of the saleable product. Consumers are quick to judge based on appearance and remember when a product does not meet their expectations.
To determine how different temperatures cumulatively affect the remaining life of the product, one must measure the exact temperature accumulations in small granularity within each area of the truck or storage facility in conjunction with shelf-life modeling. Solutions must automatically calculate expiration dates of perishables when received at the dock as well as document trip-level temperature data at item, carton or pallet for a more successful conflict and dispute resolution.
Assuring freshness for the entire refrigerated food supply chain requires much more than just a cold chain and cold storage solution. A complete end-to-end temperature traceability is needed for all temperature-sensitive products as well as predicting the remaining shelf-life when products arrive. Traceability programs must be converted from a cost-center to a profit center by using appropriate data collection devices to tie logistical information with temperature data collected at regular intervals throughout transportation and storage on the item, carton or pallet level across any part of the supply chain.
TraceGains, Inc. (www.TraceGains.com) was founded in 1998 with a 100% focus on Positively Assured Traceability™. The company has a patented delivery system—14 patents granted and growing—and also is an authorized Issuer of United States Department of Agriculture Process Verification Program (PVP) Label.
By providing real-time, bi-directional Positively Assured Traceability for food, beverage, and CPG supply chains, TraceGains reduces risks to the corporation and its executives, who may become personally liable in case of a recall, if unable to comply with the FDA’s 24-hour traceability requirement.
TraceGains is not just about reducing risk; these unique technology solutions help companies turn disparate data into actionable business and value chain intelligence; it turns traceability from a cost center into a profit center. TraceGains customers typically experience a better than 300% return on investment (ROI), and an average profitability increase between 3-5%. Independent, peer-reviewed university studies confirm these findings.
Only TraceGains provides bi-directional unit-level (item, carton, pallet) Positively Assured Traceability to consolidate multiple legacy data sources and reduce corporate recall risk, while simultaneously providing the tools to boost profitability and cost-effectively improve operational excellence.
Marc Simony, Director of Marketing