SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

5 Ways Legacy Technology Is Bad for Your Food Supply Chain

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Feb 1, 2016 9:15:00 AM


Legacy technology is easy and comfortable. It's what your organization has always used. It may be the affordable, simple thing to keep doing, but it is also costing your company more than you realize. If you haven't updated your technology in some time, it may no longer be functioning the way it should within your organization. With trends and technologies evolving at lightning speed within the food industry, it is critical to update and grow into new technologies. Not updating an underperforming legacy system can do a great deal of harm to your organization otherwise.

Upgrading Is Cost-Saving, Efficient and Financially Sound

An estimate from Hitachi Consulting indicates that as many as 90% of all businesses are being held back by ineffective legacy systems. Not updating will likely cost your company in the short and long term. Consider these key reasons your food supply chain technology needs an upgrade.

1. Your Pros Are Retiring

Are your legacy system pros becoming harder and harder to find? These systems cost significantly more to upgrade than newer technology — often due to the fact that the people who understand how they work are leaving the industry or moving on to newer technologies themselves. The team of professionals you need to run your legacy system efficiently are getting harder to find and that's costing you money.

2. Your Business Partners Are Upgrading

Another key concern for many supply chain and category managers is that their legacy systems are no longer compatible with vendor and supplier systems. If your distributors are using a recently upgraded system, new updates may have made it impossible for them to easily provide the data you need to track shipments. In short, if your distributors are going digital and you’re not, you may find it nearly impossible to effectively communicate in the future.

3. Transparency Is Growing in Importance

A quick scan of headlines rife with stories of foodborne illnesses clearly indicates the demand for improved transparency throughout the supply chain, and yet many of today's suppliers are struggling to meet these demands. Your system must be able to collect and filter through huge amounts of data every day — order numbers, delivery dates, transit temperatures, and more — and your legacy system may hold you back, limiting your ability to compete.

4. The Depth of Functionality Is Simply Lacking

Legacy systems often create a scenario in which you can only do so much. The technology just isn’t able to grow with you. New technology, on the other hand, can offer incredible opportunities to improve efficient, reduce costs, reduce waste, improve communications, and amplify tracking. Most importantly, it allows your category (and business) to stay on top of trends, prevent food safety issues and save money.

5. Your System Cannot Innovate

In the world of food retail, innovation remains one of the most valuable and important components of your operation. Technology is changing quickly and your business simply cannot evolve as quickly as you need it to if you’re relying on old systems. Think of it like this: Your legacy system is that old vehicle you've loved well and used heavily. It was there for you when you needed it, but it doesn’t have the gas mileage or additional features of its more modern counterparts. Likewise, a new system is needed to not only meet current innovations, but continue to evolve as technology continues to change.

In short, clinging to inefficient legacy technologies is costing you money. It's limiting your ability to expand and grow. While an upgrade may seem out of reach or expensive, it may pay for itself time and time again once you've made the move. There's no longer a reason to hold off on updating your legacy system, but there are numerous advantages to taking a step forward.
Supply Chain Transparency Whitepaper

Written by: Olga Bitsakis

Topics: Technology, Supply Chain