From Progressive Grocer, June 29:
The Consumer Brands Association (CBA) has brought together 23 consumer packaged goods companies and retailers in a new task force that will study the effect of a contactless pickup and delivery protocol on greater efficiencies and reduced employee risk during deliveries. The Contactless Delivery Task Force comprises manufacturers, supply chain partners and retailers that will collaborate on developing scalable, uniform standards for safely transporting and exchanging freight, with an initial focus on electronic bills of lading (eBOL).
“COVID-19 challenged CPG companies to keep their supply chains moving efficiently and their workers healthy in a tremendously difficult environment,” noted Tom Madrecki, VP, supply chain and logistics at Arlington, Virginia-based CBA. “As CPG companies identify ways to increase supply chain efficiencies and ensure employee safety, electronic delivery verification through a contactless pickup and delivery process is a natural solution. We’re excited to bring the industry together to create standards that will allow companies to provide consumers around the world with the products they need every day.”
Moving from a paper delivery verification system to a digital platform provides safety, productivity and visibility benefits to employees who transport products from manufacturers’ warehouses to store shelves, according to the organization, which added that digitization enables back-office personnel to get real-time updates while working from home and lets drivers and recipients maintain physical distancing at the point of delivery.
The task force will unite members in supply chain roles throughout the CPG industry with the association’s supply chain partners, Accenture and Coyote Logistics, as well as Vector, a transportation digitization and workflow solutions provider, to develop an end-to-end contactless pickup and delivery pilot program. This solution will lead to better understanding of the data and process standards necessary for industry-wide adoption at scale.
“While a major disruptor, COVID-19 now gives us the opportunity to partner across our industry and develop the processes and procedures that will define the consumer packaged goods space for years to come,” said Yone Dewberry, SVP and chief supply chain officer at Arden Hill, Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes. “Health, safety and efficiency have always been our priorities, but now we’re forced to look for new and innovative ways of incorporating technology even further to serve our customers and communities and meet their needs in this evolving environment.”