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08 March 2016

Conscientious consumers or creatures of habit? A focus on our supply chains

by Laura Gibbons

We are all consumers, no doubt about that. And I think it’s safe to say that we are all creatures of habit…to an extent.

We buy the products we are familiar with, the products that we grew up with. This is definitely true for me. When I first left the family home and moved out into the real world on my own, I remember doing my first ‘big shop’ at the local supermarket. Without really thinking about it, my trolley was slowly but surely filling up with the products I recognised from the time of living with my parents.

Without even realising it, here I was buying the products that my parents had used because they were familiar to me. There was no other real reason behind my choice (apart from probably cost).

It got me thinking…how much thought do we really give to the products we buy?


In my own personal experience, I probably give this more thought now, especially in terms of cost, taste, suitability etc. But, I must admit, I never really think about where these products came from.

Do we, as general consumers, really focus on, or give any thought at all, to the whole supply chain that eventually led to that product making it to our shopping trollies?

The recent situation with Mars made me really think about this. As one of the world’s leading food manufacturers creating some of most recognisable global brands, Mars found themselves in a bit of hot water resulting in a product recall.

Mars announced the recall of some of their chocolate bars after a customer found a piece of red plastic in a Snickers bar bought in Germany earlier this year. After he complained to the company, the plastic was traced back to one of its Dutch factories, where it was determined that the piece came from a protective cover used in the manufacturing process.

It’s not until something like this happens that we even give it a moment’s consideration. But it goes to show you how important our supply chain actually is. Or, more importantly, just how necessary it is to be able to fully track the full process. Without the necessary processes, procedures and tracking in place, Mars would never have been able to determine which factory that particularly faulty batch of products came from.

Every touch point in the manufacturing process is crucial and it is more important than ever to have full traceability and visibility of the supply chain.

At Ideagen, our products support the supply chain process, protecting organisations and ultimately the end consumer against the risks of non-compliance.

Contact us today to find out how you can extend your quality, service level, compliance, risk and performance management system to cover the supply chain.

Learn more about Ideagen's products for Supply Chain management

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