Grocery lead times will tumble

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Food and grocery companies believe that lead times will fall over the next five years, according to research by IGD Supply Chain Analysis.

Six out of ten retailers think lead times will reduce by up to one day over the next five years – and more than half (55 per cent) of manufacturers agree.

The survey covered more than 300 retailer and found that 54 per cent of retailers think that order frequency will increase by 2016, compared to 67 per cent of manufacturers.

“Retailers are cutting their inventories by holding stock in fewer locations, with each serving more stores,” said Tarun Patel, head of supply chain analysis, at the IGD.

“They are requiring more categories to be ‘stockless’ – holding products for less than 24 hours before they are needed in-store. As a result, they are working with suppliers to shorten lead times to now include categories outside fresh produce in the stockless process.”

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