The food industry moves fast and pivots on a sixpence. To simply keep up, companies need to adapt swiftly and remain agile. If you have any hope of leading the industry, you need an ethos of constant innovation. As one of the MEA region’s leaders, Bidfood knows this all too well. And they recently adopted the AI-enabled Slim4 to give their supply chain process and their wider business a cutting edge over the competition.
The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry has grappled with significant challenges lately. The huge increase in energy costs, rising inflation, and a heightened focus on the cost of living have forced the hands of many companies across the globe. Finding an equilibrium between sustainable and health-conscious products and harsh economic realities presents a complex puzzle.
Food and Beverage industry growth is anticipated to reach $7,525.7 billion in 2023. For MEA, this constitutes a value of $383.2 billion in 2022, which is expected to grow by more than 33% from 2022-2027. To ride this tide of change, food companies must overcome a myriad of logistical challenges to keep their business in the mind of the customer.
Hence, Bidfood has decided to collaborate with Slimstock to support their digital transformation project. Explaining the AI-enabled approach to the Middle East F&B market, Hisham Aljamil, CEO of Bidfood MEA, has decided to share their roadmap for this new phase of development.
Why did Bidfood decide to launch a supply chain transformation project?
“I’ve had a long history in the food industry. Food has always brought people together, and it always will. My opinion is, if you don’t give your customer the best experience, you’ll both lose sales and trust. At Bidfood, we’re doing this by developing a more proactive approach instead of being reactive and always playing catch up.
“Historically, at Bidfood, we always experienced a lot of manual work on everyday tasks, which narrowed our visibility throughout the business. To unify our end-to-end operations without sacrificing the autonomy of each location, we launched a supply chain transformation project to support our continuous growth.
“We needed a solution with the capacity to standardise our operations by consolidating all information in one location, giving us complete visibility.”
Why was this was the right moment to make a change?
“Our business is growing at a fast pace. We needed to add best-in-class technology to improve our operational efficiency and address industry-specific challenges. Reducing the reaction time in a volatile market was the key to giving our supply team more time to fortify our end-to-end operations and enhance productivity, efficiency and process optimisation.
“At Bidfood, we serve over 3,000 customers across diverse sectors, independently operating in five different countries: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan. We’ve embraced a mission to deliver the highest quality products to customers spanning various segments in the food service and catering industries in every corner of the MEA region. This has given us the opportunity to improve our operations in each country we operate in.”
What is the main objective of this supply chain transformation project?
“The incredible journey of our region’s hospitality scene should be celebrated. But before we get ahead of ourselves, it needs to be supported in a robust and competent manner. We embarked on this digital transformation project to enhance our efficiency and streamline our operations to make our customer experience even better.”
What made Slimstock the right partner for this project?
“We explored the market to find an expert in the Food & Beverage industry, who is capable of managing our project’s scale, while maintaining a local presence. Slimstock’s supply chain solution, Slim4, has been hugely successful in other markets.
“We also saw the great job they did at Bidfood in the UK and Netherlands, and were entirely convinced they could continue those results with us here in MEA.The communication between Bidfood and Slimstock during the initial discussion phase gave us the confidence to create this long-term relationship. It also really helps that Slimstock has experts located all over the globe.
“Slimstock provides an end-to-end AI platform that is able to plan with precision all our supply chain operations. I am confident that the ROI will be very positive; we have big ambitions for this project when it comes to increasing our availability while reducing our inventory.”
Knowing the role that your people play in the supply chain transformation, how can Slimstock help you to manage the Bidfood team?
“Our people are essential to our success. Giving our team the tools, knowledge and power to consult fortifies our end-to-end processes. It also ensures rapid adoption with a flexible user experience that underpins our team’s work.
“Slimstock gives us training programs, knowledge sessions, and community events that enhance our knowledge and improve our productivity discussions and efficiency. All the resources that Simstock provide give us more confidence in nurturing our team’s capabilities.”
How Slim4 will empower your supply chain teams?
“An AI-enabled platform helps us automate. It also helps us streamline support with a transparent and accountable process. This allows our supply chain team to create a seamless operation with a user-friendly dashboard in Slim4. It’s such an improvement and will no doubt empower them to make informed, data-driven decisions and more strategic forecasts.
“After the implementation of Slim4, the foundations are set for reaching operational excellence in the S&OE process. We’ll then be exploring new ways to mature our S&OP. With Slimstock’s expert guidance, the collaboration between our teams should be smoother than it’s ever been before.”
What are the next steps for Bidfood?
“Thanks to the excellent chemistry we’ve created with Slimstock, we want to roll this out operationally across the business. We have decided to add the Slimstock logo to our fleet as a visual advertisement of our new capability.
“Bidfood Middle East’s move towards digital transformation with Slimstock marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the food industry in the Middle East and Africa. As the food market grows and evolves, this innovative initiative will help set new standards for supply chain efficiency and operational excellence.”
The project further demonstrates Bidfood Middle East’s commitment to meeting the dynamic demands of the market but also represents its vision for long-term growth and success. The partnership between these two industry leaders signifies a profound step forward in the quest for excellence in the region’s food service and catering sectors.