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Reinventing the supply chain to democratize healthy food

onsdag, augusti 10, 2022

Henrik Åkerman, Head of Purchasing at Picadeli, will be one of the speakers at TREFF. His presentation will explain how Picadeli optimises their supply chain, as a company with quick logistics due to their fresh products with short shelf-life. Henrik will also talk about how technology can be used to reinvent the supply chain and democratizing healthy food along with reducing food waste. If this sounds interesting, you can get a preview of the presentation already now.

Henrik Åkerman, Picadeli, TREFF

Tell us about yourself!
- My name is Henrik Åkerman and after graduation with a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from Linköpings University I have spent most my work life within purchasing and supply chain in the Scandinavian food industry. I have most likely been working with many of the products you have in your fridge at home. I started as a buyer in Carlsberg 2004, moved on to Abba Seafood a few years later. In 2009 I became the purchasing manager at Göteborgs Kex and in 2014 also for the snacks company OLW when the two companies were merged. After a few years heading a sector within the central sourcing in Orkla group I joined Picadeli and became part of the movement of democratizing healthy food via the world leading self-served salad bar.

What is Picadeli and what is your vision?
- Picadeli is a European market leader in self-served salad bar concept and we firmly believe in a world where fast food is the opposite of junk food! You can find our digital salad bars in some 2000 grocery retail and convenience stores around Europe. We are serving around 40 million meals of our pick and mix salads every year and helping consumers eat more healthy, sustainable, and affordable.

What is unique about your products from a logistics perspective?
- In Picadeli we are working with very quick logistics, and we are delivering our products to over 1500 store locations and a number of distribution centers in seven countries 2-3 times per week via our 5 warehouses. Many products are ultra-fresh and produced to order and have a shelf life of as little as 5 days, while others are replenished to stock with around 18 days shelf life. Our logistics is also very much affected by a high degree of volume fluctuation due to weather, local events, holidays and season. Our goal is to minimize the labor cost and food waste for the stores and that is why we are digitalizing our supply chain to a large degree. As an example, we are applying the latest AI tech to forecast sales on a store level basis.

How do you help your customers reduce food waste?
- First of all, we know what is selling. All our salad bars are cloud connected, meaning we can track all sales and waste in real time. Consequently, we can guide customers to what products they should sell in their area and what will not work. We are setting a planogram with each individual store based on our knowledge of the market and the local parameters. All products have dynamic shelf life, and the salad bar is keeping track of the remaining shelf life on all products, i.e. stores are not wasting products that could have been sold. We are adjusting the assortment depending on season and using products with less weight and longer shelf life in low season. But the most important change we are doing right now to minimize food waste is our launch of the digital ARC-platform where we have created a tool for generating auto-orders for our customers. By applying AI and using parameters like current stock, sales history, holidays and weather forecast, we can create purchase orders for the stores with a much better quality than what you normally can predict in a store where you have busy days and high rotation of staff.

What can other organizations learn from you that you will share with them at TREFF?
- One thing I think is unique about Picadeli is that there is a mentality that everything is possible. Technology is something that is very central in everything we are doing. In Picadeli IT/Tech is not a support function placed far away - it is a central enabler for us in our business, no matter if we are talking about logistics or marketing. When you are working in such a fast supply chain as we are, we need a very forward leaning organization and people that are on their toes in order to fulfill our customers’ expectations. We have a very limited time buffer to correct mistakes and deviations in the supply chain and we need to be very hands on, close and agile. Picadeli is not a startup anymore,
we have been in the market for 12 years, so we are rather the restless teenager, and we are nurturing the entrepreneurial feeling and challenge ourselves in our strive to democratize healthy fast food. The latest venture is to go west and by this day we have now started 10 salad bars in the US, where there is an urgent need of healthy and affordable food!