NFT urges customers to communicate and monitor products during Olympics

Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK: NFT  is encouraging its manufacturing and retail customers to bring forward availability and communicate properly in order to facilitate the smooth running of the supply chain during the Olympic Games.

Alex Fisher, supply chain director at NFT, is confident the company can maintain service levels, following the successful reaction to the impact of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations which saw volumes increase by 30-40% without notice.

“The Diamond Jubilee provided us with some key learnings and as a result we’ve been able to devise contingency plans both internally and with our customers,” says Fisher. “In the past few months we have been putting in place processes similar to those we use at Christmas, which allow for maximum communication and quick reaction to issues. We’ve also had to take into account the special requirements imposed by the Olympic Route Network during the Olympic period which has meant changing delivery plans for many suppliers.”

However, Fisher stresses that manufacturers need to adopt a strict policy regarding dispatch times of their product, as delays will ultimately mean failure to sell the product.

“Real time monitoring and communication of sales will be key to the success of the supply chain, as will paying close attention to traffic issues as the event unfolds. Retailers and manufacturers must reserve capacity at the earliest opportunity to ensure delivery on shelf.”

He predicts that “food on the go” is likely to replace traditional chilled products in the South East, which will see fundamental changes in customer profile for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

“Sandwiches are at the higher end of the forecast and as one of the largest sandwich transporters in the UK, this is a hugely important area for NFT,” says Fisher. “We’re looking at a projected increase of around 20% nationally and up to 100% in the South East.  However, ultimately, no one knows exactly how customers are going to behave so the supply chain has to be prepared for all eventualities.”

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