Building stronger supply chains: unlocking performance with the right partner

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Every business has unique goals and ways to measure success. However, the desire to cut costs, reduce complexity and improve sustainability is universal. That is why it is essential to consider all aspects and processes that contribute to these objectives, especially your entire supply chain. This means evaluating the support and technologies your supply chain partners provide you in terms of the latest innovations, problem-solving and global capabilities. In other words, do your partners offer what you need? Here we outline three requirements that can help determine if your partner has the resources and skills to help you take your business further.

Solving complex challenges

Solving an industry-wide challenge and your supply chain’s specific challenge are two different things. You need a solution that meets the requirements of the industry you operate in and, more importantly, all the requirements that are unique to your business. That is why the UK’s largest tomato producer, APS Group, changed supply chain partners to get a comprehensive solution, tailored to address all its problematic areas. For years, it had been using crates that were a standard solution for the food production industry but not quite right for its operating environment or products. As tomatoes are delicate and bruise easily, it could not use these big crates at full capacity for fear of damaging the products. This resulted in poor transport efficiency and unnecessary costs; paying for shipping air as the tomatoes were not using all the capacity of the crates. However, after partnering with Tosca, APS Group gained access to bespoke options, designed with its products in mind. The new crates and pallets work seamlessly together, protecting the freshness of the tomatoes at every stage while enabling better storage and transport utilization, introducing new efficiency into the supply chain.

When considering a partner, it is good to look for examples of customized projects to see if they have a clear track record of proving their reliability, customer focus, and expertise. 

Innovating and scaling solutions 

For your business to grow, you need a supplier who can support that growth. You want to leverage the latest products and see constant development in the offering. There is always something to improve: even the best crate can still be lighter, stronger, or more robust. Let us look at one of the most important Italian discount retailers. It had worked with the same pooler for 20 years, and many of the solutions it used were outdated in terms of technology and aesthetics. The bulky display stands were a mix of colors and featured iron bars for support, making them time-consuming to assemble and move around. However, after partnering with Tosca, it got access to innovative wood-look modular displays that were visually pleasing, upholding its image as a premium discount retailer, as well as easy to use. The new displays, delivered in its brand color theme, extended a fresh new look on every aisle and were easy to set up and move around, enhancing productivity across the stores.  

Examples like this highlight the advantages of working with a partner with a heavy focus on R&D. Through in-house product development and production facilities, a strong R&D team can develop solutions faster and, crucially, bring them to market quickly so you can benefit from them when you need them. Scalability is also important because you need resilience to respond to changes in demand. You want to know that your partner can help your supply chain grow and adapt with agility when required.

Understanding your requirements

With complex challenges to manage, you might not know how to solve them with the tools you have available. That is when your supply chain partner is there to support you. But can they put themselves in your shoes to understand what problems they need to address to add value to your operation? Here, consultancy can play a crucial role in helping you achieve a solution that checks all the boxes, even those you did not know you needed checking. This was the case for an Israel-based retailer that was developing its e-commerce offering. It wanted a new, bespoke crate that would help simplify its distribution process for home deliveries. After careful discussions to identify the features that would best speed up and streamline the delivery operation, its partner Tosca proposed a solution consisting of customized containers. They were deeper than Tosca’s standard nestable models, with various additional features. These included bag hooks to enable quick order fulfillment, dividers to keep bags in place during transport, and a unique floor structure to protect other containers from any leakages from the products to allow a smooth delivery process.

For tailored solutions to work, they need to be planned with all the stakeholders in mind. Supply chain partners with extensive in-house resources for R&D and manufacturing can offer not only the latest technologies but also the ability to adjust any existing ones to better meet your requirements.

At Tosca, our experts are dedicated to helping you build a high performing supply chain. With the acquisition of Polymer Logistics and Contraload, we hold more than 100 years of combined experience in the industry, bringing Tosca’s scale and resources, Polymer Logistics’ innovation, and Contraload’s upstream capabilities under one roof. We are committed to solving your challenges and have the R&D and manufacturing capabilities to provide you with new and bespoke innovations. We work alongside our customers, providing support globally and locally to ensure that we design solutions that meet your short- and long-term objectives. Our large portfolio of reusable assets and ability to match and scale an existing solution to better fit your needs puts nearly unlimited resources at your disposal, giving you the confidence you need to thrive and grow.

To find out how we can help you optimize your supply chain, visit www.toscaltd.com.