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article imageMcDonald's improves its supply chain through automation

By Tim Sandle     Aug 24, 2017 in Business
McDonald's is one of the largest fast-food outlets in the world. With thousands of food outlets, the corporation relies upon a large and complex supply chain. This is continually subject to review, and this process includes increased automation.
Improving the supply chain requires automation and the investment in supply chain technology. This includes using computerized systems for asset management, the use of barcode labeling, the use of complex databases like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, sophisticated inventory planning, warehouse automation (focused on cost and efficiency measures), and data collection to monitor the overall performance. On top of this, Google is adapting robots for working in retail stock rooms and distribution centers.
This is a follow-up story to an earlier article on Digital Journal which looked at how fast food giant McDonald's has introduced new ways of working and automation which has led to increased productivity and a significant rise in profitability.
These are some of the measures that major chains like McDonald's have been adopting. The McDonald’s System has expanded to more than 100 countries and more than 35,000 restaurants serving more than 68 million customers a day. It’s been said that McDonald’s buys more eggs than any other buyer on Earth. As to what these changes mean, as an example in Saudi Arabia McDonald's has brought in the company Cognizant to leverage its digital business technology to create an ERP system. The aim is to seek improvements, speed up the process and to control costs. In France, McDonald's has developed a digital ordering system, that cover supply and which also extends out to the customer.
McD s NY burger
McD's NY burger
Gigazine
McDonalds has also changed its approach, according to Supply Chain Dive. This new trajectory concerns the development of a so-called "horizontal" supply chain. This means a process where the business looks closely at the relationships between its different entities. This is seen as especially important for the food service industry, where food quality is paramount. McDonalds is undertaking this through the use of new supplier relationship management tools to improve the entire company supply chain.
The process also seeks to involve and engage all employees; McDonald is distributing the responsibility of success across operators, employees and suppliers evenly, according to a review in the Strategic Resourcer.
As well as improving, supple chains like the one operated by McDonald's are becoming more transparent. This is in keeping with a trend picked up by the Harvard Business Review, which is calling for greater supply chain visibility by major companies. In turn this is based on consumer trends, where consumer groups are calling for the food sector to detail where all food ingredients have come from. With McDonald's, the company, in May, launched a virtual reality campaign to show consumers where its products come from and how they are made, as well as change people’s perceptions of the farming sector.
Due to a ruling  McDonald s may have to change how they react to employee complaints.
Due to a ruling McDonald's may have to change how they react to employee complaints.
Mike Mozart
In further supply chain news relating to McDonald's, the company has announced its plan to reduce the routine use of antibiotics in its supply chain. This includes the adoption of new policies and timelines for reducing the routine use of antibiotics in all food animals. This fits in with worldwide efforts to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
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