March 01, 2023

Talking about us: Food Integrity management in the collective catering industry

Introduction: Food Service presents Wenda

Food Service is the new magazine of Gruppo Food, dedicated to the sector of Food distribution and dealing with the collective catering industry. Food Service aims to become a benchmark for this sector, which today is rapidly growing: every month the magazine offers interviews with Horeca managers, industry news, new openings, partnerships, case histories, Food&Beverage market analysis, research from established consulting firms and other information.

In a section focused on Food&Beverage advanced logistics, which features in the July-August issue and is signed by Antonio Iannone, Wenda was mentioned regarding the management of Food Integrity across all the stages of the supply chain, presenting solutions for the collective catering channel that enable an advanced management of flows and operations. Mattia Nanetti, Wenda’s Co-founder and COO, illustrated Wenda’s innovative technological solutions for the Food&Beverage supply chains. Here we retrace and share the article’s contents.

Challenges in the Food&Beverage industry and distribution

Managing stocks efficiently and optimally is a key element for the collective catering industry: minimum stocks with the risk of dissatisfied clients or maximum stocks with the risk of deterioration? Nowadays, the issue of Food Waste is crucial, especially when considering that, according to FAO, 21% of 1,3 billion tons of wasted Food per year (one third of the global food production) comes from the Horeca industry: approximately 273 million tons of food are wasted yearly in restaurants across the globe.

The choice of a logistical partner is essential for the business development, and additionally Horeca logistic operators must be able to employ the most advanced management systems to handle logistical flows, analyse and process data. After introducing the difference between 3PL (Third Party Logistics, a provider of integrated logistics services that manages all logistics operations, often subcontracting some of them to other companies) and 4PL (Fourth Party Logistics, which is 3PL’s evolution, it carries out its same functions but it does so with higher technological and integration skills), some companies engaged in the area of logistics management are briefly presented.

Replica Sistemi developed a system to track operations and flows of delivery, stocking, handling, picking, shipping, with the possibility to measure performances and KPIs.

SVAT owns some temperature-controlled warehouses, scattered across the whole Italian territory and governed by a system that ensures the management of FEFO (First Expired First Out) a method for the valorisation of warehouse stocks employed for perishable goods: the goods that expire sooner are the first to go out of the warehouse.. It also ensures  compliance with product traceability regulations.

For us at Wenda, committed to the management of Food Integrity information, the FEFO method should be preferred to the FIFO (First In First Out) system, since the first ensures a higher optimisation of the products’ shelf life, and contributes to encourage sustainability practices, fighting Food Losses and Waste.

Stef deals with Food logistics and has a considerable number of operational platforms across Europe. The main hurdles are related to time and difficulties of product loading, restaurants’ localisation (for instance, those in LTZ or inside large commercial facilities) and the differential management of temperatures.

Thus, guaranteeing Food Integrity is among the most important challenges for the collective catering logistics: operators must ensure not only that the goods arrive at the right place at the right time, but also that during transportation the goods do not suffer damages, tampering, significant variations in temperature or humidity, fully enforcing their integrity.

Wenda for the logistics of Food&Beverage in the collective catering industry

In order to solve these problems, Wenda, an Italian startup backed by European investors, has created an Information Management Hub used by key Food&Beverage actors, which turns advanced supply chain tracking from cost centre into competitive edge, improving quality, logistics and sales.

It consists of a web platform that can support all Food&Beverage actors operating with perishable or sensitive products: data loggers are inserted into each box, pallet or container of any given shipment, in order to collect environmental data (geolocalisation, temperature, Food integrity); data are sent to the Wenda Information Management Hub, the web platform that aggregates, compares and processes them. Subsequently, you can follow in real time and from a single control point the product’s conditions via advanced integrity analytics embedded in the Hub, gaining knowledge of the hazard points in the distribution chain, ensuring the best product care and enhancing internal processes.

Furthermore, the Wenda platform is equipped with both a cloud wallet of shareable journey documents and pictures, and differential data access levels: the configuration is entirely customisable according to the company’s needs and allows to share real-time shipment/storage documents, choosing which documents may be deemed accessible and who can access them (among a list including clients, logistics, quality, sales, insurance companies and certification bodies).

Finally, in light of the constant evolution of IoT hardware (in this case regarding the different data loggers commercially available), Wenda has made the Information Management Hub interoperable with the main devices, ERPs, traceability softwares and Blockchain ledgers present on the market. This way, you can be on the frontline of digital innovation and at the same time maintain your well-oiled management system. 

In the collective catering channel, Wenda has already conducted some interesting pilot projects with Camst and with the scaleup Soul-K (see Food Service, issue 13). 

Mattia Nanetti, Wenda’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer outlines the results achieved through those projects: “Existing customers are active both in Italy and in Spain, and all of them succeeded in managing the integrity information of stored and shipped products – e.g. cold chain data – more efficiently; they have  increased their supply chain visibility, placing greater emphasis on Food Safety, making people’s job more effective and in some cases freeing up human resources to be assigned to other activities. Moreover, they have better complied with quality regulations”. 

Looking towards future developments, Wenda is “at the moment the only platform operating throughout the entire Food&Beverage supply chain via different IoT devices that are available in accordance with the different traceability use cases, and therefore we will explore – as we are already doing – other industries to provide complete visibility regarding integrity information along the whole chain, up to the consumer. Additionally, cold chain monitoring is not the only integrity information that we aim for to turn supply chain control from cost centre to competitive edge”.

To have further information, to know more about us or to schedule a demo of the Wenda Information Management Hub, we invite you to visit our website.