A recent article in USA Today reported on the mislabeling of farmed salmon as wild salmon – and blamed a convoluted swim up the supply chain for making the error (whether intentional or not) untraceable. It seems that 67% of restaurant salmon and 43% of grocery-store was mislabeled in a study done outside of salmon season (May through September).
Dare I say it? There’s something fishy in the salmon supply chain.
“Since the fish can only be tested at the retail level, it’s impossible to tell where along the salmon supply chain mislabeling occurs. However, the path from water to plate is often very convoluted,” the article states. “The U.S. exports 70% of its wild salmon, even though that amount could fulfill 80% of the major demand in the country. The reason? Processing fish is cheaper out of the country.”
USA Today goes on to quote Dr. Kimberly Warner, one of the authors of the study: “There’s currently no traceability system when it comes to salmon,” she says. “When it makes its way back to the U.S., it’s just this anonymous salmon.”
Warehouse Control Systems
You may not be dealing with fish, but how trackable is your inventory? While you can’t control the entire supply chain, you can accurately monitor your product while it’s on your factory floor, in your distribution center or on your trucks through a warehouse control system (WCS).
The WCS collects real-time information from the automated material handling equipment and devices and warehouse management system (WMS) software to efficiently direct and manage automated material handling and processing within the warehouse. The WCS orchestrates activity flow between the vital components of your business while helping you avoid costly errors and bottlenecks on the job.
Acting kind of as a traffic cop, the WCS integrates all of the material handling equipment – conveyor systems, horizontal and vertical carousels, vertical lift modules and other automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS) systems – and keeps everything working together. Inventory accountability and security, higher through-puts and overall greater efficiencies are the results.
Good software lets you keep track of all inventory at all times. Not only do a new breed of sensors allow for real-time tracking, but they also give information on shipping conditions and alert warehouses to any problems. The end result is a reduced need for manual oversight. What’s more, these systems also allow for reduced energy usage and help you offer better customer service.