The next steps to digitizing the supply chain connect physical devices, such as sensors, to the internet The Internet of Things (IoT) will need to be activated at the restaurant, distribution centers, HUBs, supplier plants and on trucks to create real-time case level visibility. We believe that this increased access to information in near real-time will allow us to move to an environment where unassisted delivery and automation become scalable.

Sue Fangmann, McDonald’s U.S. Supply Chain

Digitizing the Supply Chain

To achieve greater efficiency and productivity at all nodes of the supply chain, the transactional supply chain management function is shifting from the traditional use of a single technology to an environment utilizing multiple digital processes.  Digital processes are designed to replace manual, repetitive processes with more strategic opportunities, ensuring integrated operations from customers to suppliers while creating a more efficient, agile and customer-focused supply chain. The bottom line: automate, optimize, analyze and save.

McDonald’s Supply Chain Digital Strategy is defined as “real-time case level visibility from farm to consumer.” Back Room of the Future (BROTF) is an initiative that is focused on ‘simplifying operations’ and is also the first outcome of our Digital Strategy because more accurate inventory and creating a foundation for more real time supply chain visibility are large enablers. This initiative will address reducing supply chain activities in the restaurant back room by automating ordering, inventory and  delivery.

GS1 is the foundational element of BROTF. It is the data language of retail business where items, suppliers and transactions are easily identified throughout the supply chain using a common set of standards. These data standards are currently being implemented at all McDonald’s suppliers in the U.S. and globally.       

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