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Real-Time Data Enhances Quality of Food Supply Chain

Striving to become an integral part of the customer's routine, there's no room for unreliability or variation - predictability rests at the heart of the value proposition for quick-serve restaurants (QSR) across the board. Consequently, customers have historically tolerated preservative-infused, glorified hockey pucks disguised as burgers with a side of greasy fries and a sugar-laden soda drink and called it a day's dinner.

However, there's been a significant shift in the market around consumer expectations on quality, freshness and healthiness of ingredients - no preservatives, nothing frozen - and it's wreaking havoc on traditional supply chain management.

QSRs that are figuring out how to effectively manage the supply chain to reliably deliver fresh, high-quality product offerings at significant scale and favorable margins are poised to ride the growth crest. In a June 2013 market research study conducted by the NPD Group, consumers reported that "quality for the price" and "fresh ingredients" are the top two considerations for selecting a QSR.

For QSRs to meet these market-driven demands there must be a closely controlled end-to-end view of the supply chain. With the complexities created by multiple vendors, regional warehousing and delivery systems, highly perishable inventory and scores of storefronts scattered across the country, managing the supply chain end-to-end presents a quagmire of interrelated operational complexities.

Real-time big data analytics closes the operational gaps across the supply chain by empowering QSRs to capture and correlate data across diverse sources to detect and adjust workflows to remedy problems before customers or the broader organization are negatively affected. With real-time insight into what's happening in the field, QSRs improve both their operational efficiency and customer experience.

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Keywords: Real-Time Analytics, Food Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, SCM IT, Supply Chain Visibility, Transportation Management, Supply Chain Tracking

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