- Introduction: The Food on the Table
- Current Issues: More Than One Can Possibly Eat
- The Second Issue: Procurement and the Associated Concerns
- The Third Issue: Inbound Logistics and the Transportation System
- Future Concerns: Resources Exhaustion and Other Issues
- Conclusion: There Is Yet Much to Improve
- Works Cited
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Introduction: The Food on the Table
People rarely question where the good and services that they use come from. As a result, natural resources, as well as the efforts of many people providing the environment for these resources to flourish, the process of transporting these raw materials to the manufacturer and the people who deliver the final product to the customer are often taken for granted.
The Episode 1: Food Machine sheds some light on the processes that an average American citizen barely knows about. Although at present, the American food industry uses an impressive set of techniques and strategies in order to keep production values high and satisfy all customers, in the future, the emphasis should be shifted towards the strategy that will allow got using the existing resources more wisely.
Current Issues: More Than One Can Possibly Eat
One must admit that the existing supply chain system introduced in the United States is nearly exemplary, with the required raw materials being delivered on a regular basis to the corresponding food production services, and the following distribution of the freshly cooked food to the clients, with every single order customized in accordance with the demands of the client.
Such efficiency, the narrator explains, is only possible due to the fast and productive cooperation between the people growing the food ingredients, the delivery companies and the end customer companies. As the report shows, 60 tons of vegetables per acre are gathered and distributed to the food production companies every day (Episode 1: Food Machine).
Therefore, one of the most basic concerns seems to revolve around the current information system regarding the supply management operations. Improving the given issue, one can possibly figure out a more adequate method of resources management.
The Second Issue: Procurement and the Associated Concerns
The process of goods acquisition, as the existing sources define the given phenomenon, the procurement system described in the episode is also worth taking a closer look at. Indeed, the organization of the process of acquiring the necessary resources from one state and its further transportation to the target state is worth appraisal.
For instance, the acquisition of the water resources that are necessary to grow the crops, which will later on be transported to the food-producing industries is truly fascinating – with the help of the monumental Shasta Dam and its vast amounts of water, what used to be a barren land has been transformed into a field perfectly fit for growing any crops from corn to tomatoes.
Another impressive issue regarding the great American “food machine” and the procurement issues concerns the progress that has been made over such a relatively short amount of time.
One of the most amazing examples of how far the U.S. has reached with its food industry development, the fact that what used to be a barren land nowadays provides the resources that can satisfy the needs of 98% of the U.S. population is a graphic example of the fact that the U.S. food industry has reached a new stage of development.
As one of the farmers owning the land that provides food resources for the American food industries explained, what brought his grandfather 20 bushels of crops nowadays returns the farmer 300 bushels (Episode 1: Food Machine).
The Third Issue: Inbound Logistics and the Transportation System
The issues mentioned above definitely offer much to contemplate, including not only the issues regarding the acquisition of goods and the means to transfer information regarding these goods within the shortest amount of time possible, but also several important social issues, including the problem of overconsumption mentioned above.
Yet the most impressive concept of the U.S. food industry supply chain management is yet to be discussed. Perhaps, the transportation system and the inbound logistics should be given a proper credit to as by far the most amazing element of the SCM within the U.S. food industry.
Indeed, it is clear from the very beginning that the transportation issue has been considered very thoroughly by the people in charge of the process of goods distribution and their further delivery to the target audience.
At the very beginning of the video, the current system of goods transportation is shown in a very graphic way, making it clear that the owners of the food chains do not take the issue of products delivery lightly.
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In the light of the fact that the given process must be extraordinarily fast, given the fact that the food in question must be hot as the customer receives it, as well as the fact that transportation issues, such as traffic jams and other problems slacken the delivery process considerably.
It is remarkable that the people dealing with the products transportation process have managed to take every single detail concerning the possible obstacles into account and learned to avoid these obstacles at all costs. Moreover, it is truly exciting to see the existing transportation resources utilized so wisely and efficiently.
Taking a single glance at the map shown at the beginning is enough to see that only the shortest paths have been chosen to deliver the goods for the customers; in addition, it is remarkable that these paths were designed so that every single delivery man could cover the greatest area within the shortest time possible.
Finally, it is striking that these paths rarely cross, thus, ensuring that the process of delivery should be as productive as possible. At this point, it is necessary to stress that the existing system of supply chain management owes much to the recent technological innovations, which brings the given evaluation to the first point mentioned, i.e., the issue of information distribution.
As long as the available information is arranged in an orderly fashion and is accessible for every single member of the staff, the supply chain management system works impeccably. Therefore, for the current food chain management, it is crucial to utilize the latest technology in order to ensure the safest and the most efficient information transfer.
Future Concerns: Resources Exhaustion and Other Issues
The given episode gives a lot of food for thoughts, for the lack of a better word. To start with, there is an obvious concern for the exhaustibility of the resources that are utilized in order to provide services and food to every single customer of a particular food chain. Not to mention the issues regarding the non-renewability of the resources used for fuel production, it is necessary to raise the concern for the overproduction of food.
Indeed, according to the narrator of the episode, every day more food is produced in the Northern America than its entire population can possibly consume, which means that most of the food is going to the trash can.
Therefore, the last, but definitely not the least specifics regarding the current system of supply management in the USA that deserves being mentioned is the concern regarding a more productive use of the existing resources.
Conclusion: There Is Yet Much to Improve
Even though the current stage of evolution that the American food industry has been credited as outstandingly high, it cannot be doubted that there is still more room for improvement.
With the help of more efficient transportation system and timely delivery, fewer resources will be consumed, which gives reasons to reconsider the current transportation system and some of the elements of the inbound logistics. Once addressing not only economical, but also social and environmental concerns, American food-producing companies will be able to handle the future challenges.
Episode 1: Food Machine. n. d. Web.