Towards a Diagnostic Instrument to Identify Improvement Opportunities for Quality Controlled Logistics in Agrifood Supply Chain Networks

O. (Olaf) van Kooten
Duurzame Verbindingen in de Greenport
Soort object
Western-European consumers have become not only more demanding on product availability in retail outlets but also on other food attributes such as quality, integrity, and safety. When (re)designing food supply-chain networks, from a logistics point of view, one has to consider these demands next to traditional efficiency and responsiveness requirements. The concept ‘quality controlled logistics’ (QCL) hypothesizes that if product quality in each step of the supply chain can be predicted in advance, goods flows can be controlled in a pro-active manner and better chain designs can be established resulting in higher product availability, constant quality, and less product losses. The paper discusses opportunities of using real-time product quality information for improvement of the design and management of ‘AgriFood Supply Chain Networks’, and presents a preliminary diagnostic instrument for assessment of ‘critical quality’ and ‘logistics control’ points in the supply chain network. Results of a tomato-chain case illustrate the added value of the QCL concept for identifying improvement opportunities in the supply chain as to increase both product availability and quality. Future research aims for the further development of the diagnostic instrument and the quantification of costs and benefits of QCL scenarios.