If your business mainly deals with food items, including their production, storage, and distribution to the marketplace, chances are that you not always have given the same kind of attention to all three stages of the process. In fact, most businesses focus only on the production part, leaving their storage and distribution network to be quite sub-standard in nature. This is actually a major mistake, one that can potentially cost you more than the amount it helps you to save. Furthermore, an improper storage and handling of food logistics means that your products will be delivered in less than an ideal condition to your customers, thereby hurting your name and reputation.
To ensure you take care of the storage and transportation matters of your food items, you need to first draft a good plan of action. Don’t worry if this takes some time: it is natural that you want to have the best plan on hand before executing it, as this allows you to identify and overcome your weaknesses when it comes to these two critical phases of delivering your products to the customers. To help you draft this initial plan, here are a few points to take into consideration:
Select the Right Storage Facility
Storage facilities for food must be chosen carefully, more so than if you want to store anything else. They should be maintained regularly, must be clean, free of dust and debris and provide climate control facilities to avoid spikes and extreme lows in temperatures. The last part is very important for storing frozen food or items that must be kept under refrigeration.
Get the Containers Ready
Obviously, you need something to store your items in. For most applications, you can safely use heavy duty plastic storage containers as the main containers in which to place bottles, jars, cans, and even packets of food items. For things like fruits and vegetables, you may want something different to avoid them from getting squashed or damaged. Soft plastic or cellophane packaging might be a better idea in that case.
Ensure a Smooth Delivery Procedure
No matter how good your storage facilities are, you need to ensure food material doesn’t stay in your warehouses for too long. Most food items only have a limited lifespan, which means that you will have to throw out anything that doesn’t get delivered to the marketplace before the expiry date. Thus, you need to build up a good delivery network, one where Lorries or other vehicles come pick up the goods at set time intervals and deliver them to retail stores or other middlemen.
Lower the Costs
In order to actually make some profits out of the situation, you will also need to optimize the storage and delivery processes in such a way that you can keep costs down to a minimum. A few examples to achieve this include buying plastic pallets in bulk for lower purchase prices, reducing the weight of packaging materials, using better road networks, choosing third-party logistics suppliers, etc.
Make Changes When Necessary
Just because you have finally drafted a successful plan for a product distribution network doesn’t mean that you can take your eyes off the entire process. Remember that the marketplace nowadays is a dynamic one, so you need to constantly evaluate your available options and make changes as you see fit.