Blog > Supply chain management tools to prepare for springtime success

After the new years’ resolution diets, Superbowl, and Valentine’s Day there’s barely time to catch our collective breath before we move into the spring onslaught including St Patrick’s day. Spring offers a number of sales opportunities, and if your supply chain management tools aren’t not up to par to cope with the resulting increased ‘push’, it’s not too late to fix or optimize your supply chain.

Explore the supply chain management solutions that are purpose-built for food distributors and processors.

‘Push’ opportunities across categories and channels

There are numerous produce categories associated with spring. Fruits include rhubarb, kiwi, cherries, pineapple and apricots. Bananas and strawberries are also in this category and are at the top of the charts of the most popular fruits and vegetables purchased in 2021, based on the percentage of primary shoppers buying in the U.S. Vegetables include asparagus, peas, greens (arugula, kale, collard), herbs, carrots, and radish. Proteins include lamb, softshell crab, salmon, and trout.

The lists for both categories continue and vary by region and even by months within spring, creating countless targeted sales opportunities. In late Spring, tomatoes are at their peak season and the second most popular vegetable at 61 percent on the list of most popular fruits and vegetables purchased in 2021. Onions follow at 57 percent and are best in March.

This means there are multiple opportunities – bites at the cherry, if you will – for recipe suggestions to restaurants, cafes and grocery stores, including their magazines and recipe cards. Things like risottos with asparagus and peas. Leveraging the things that you already know sell well during the period. Restaurant chefs love rotating dishes based on what’s freshest and best in a given season or even month. So spring produce menu items can be rotated, by month within the season, for consumer interest. This may help some minor or slower moving categories.

A good order management system (OMS) will help you react to increased demand in certain categories resulting from your proactive recipe suggestions. Ideally your recipe and ingredient suggestions to customers would be based on what you’ve seen demand for in previous years in looking at your enterprise resource planning system (ERP) and additionally based on complementary categories to those with the highest sales spikes. You can have fun pairing ingredients for cross selling.

Ensuring your supply chain management tools are prepared for spring

When preparing to leverage this information and the opportunities, it’s vital to predict the size of the sales in each category. Start by looking at your sales for previous spring periods by category using your ERP to help you form a projected baseline, on top of which you can then add a sales allowance for your proactive cross selling promotions and recipe suggestion activities. An ERP also looks at your sales in real-time so you can adjust on the fly if you see certain categories moving faster, or slower, than projected.

And if you find that some categories are moving more slowly, such as asparagus, which has moved down on the list of most popular vegetables, you can use your OMS to help shift the item through an integrated advertising and push order capability, such as a popup at checkout that asks, “Do you also want to purchase asparagus?”

Spring has sprung – are you ready for your sales to spring up through proactive activity, and are your supply chain management tools up to the task?  By anticipating seasons and looking for additional sales opportunities you can get prepared with TELUS Consumer Goods Supply Chain Management.

Contact a supply chain management expert for more information on how or request a software demonstration.

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