Logistics as a Competitive Edge Tool

Around 40 sector workers, mostly from Mercabarna firms, attended the third congress on the Stimulus Plan for the Foodservice Cluster of Catalonia held in Mercabarna on 9 February, which discussed the importance of logistics as a tool to gain a competitive edge in the foodservice sector. As the guest speaker Ricardo Catelli, a specialist consultant in business logistics from the Catalan Institute for Logistics (ICIL) Foundation, observed, “The starting point for business competitiveness is to structure a good strategy, and logistics should form part of that strategy”.
Mr Catelli added that the current trend in the restaurant sector was to reduce order volumes and that this was impacting the logistics process and costs. He said that key factors in making logistics a competitive edge tool included investing in technology to reduce process costs, improve internal communication, collaborate with other businesses and offer tailored customer solutions.

The figure of the logistics operator
A number of different businesses discussed their logistics experiences during the event. Eat&Out, a leader in the restaurant sector with over 600 restaurants in seven countries, highlighted the importance of developing an optimal logistics system as the only way of being able to put all one’s efforts into the really important business of making sales. The company opted for an integrated logistics system in the hands of an operator responsible for procurement management and supplying all of its franchise restaurants. Logistics operators GCT Hispania and Logifrío explained that the key to doing business today was to optimise the operating costs of the logistics process. They also spoke of the need to make customers aware of the costs entailed in each part of the process and to seek their collaboration in reducing overall expenditure.

Next event scheduled for 23 March
Mercabarna will host the fourth conference within the Stimulus Plan for the Foodservice Cluster of Catalonia on Wednesday 23 March, to be entitled “Product Development: Strategies and Technology”. The event will kick off with a conference on strategies to roll out new products and business models; continue with a presentation of the cases of Maresmar and Gallina Blanca; and end with a roundtable session.
The Barcelona Food Cluster Association will organise a complementary seminar on “Packaging and Commercial Life” from 5 to 13 April.

Further information at: www.mercabarna.cat/foodservice