Tech Transformation Podcast: Consumer Brands Association’s Tom Madrecki Talks Supply Chain Crystal Balls

In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re taking a look at the current state of the retail and CPG supply chain. Tom Madrecki, VP of supply chain at the Consumer Brands Association, sits down to talk about what’s happening and what’s ahead. 

Listen to learn: 

  • What's causing the most pain today
  • How brands are navigating these obstacles to keep products on shelves
  • Technologies proving to be successful in alleviating challenges
  • An outlook for this year and next
  • What retailers should know when it comes to CPGs and supply chain obstacles 


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“Demand for consumer packaged goods continues to rise, sort of at record levels, at the same time that the supply chain is in crisis. Much of this is underpinned by a labor shortage that's only growing worse, and the cost to make and ship goods continues to set record after record. So the need to ease supply chain pressures has never been greater. And I don't think that's going away anytime soon.”

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“My concern is that as people see transportation costs tick down a little bit, that we think that things are just better. And that's just fundamentally not true. It's kind of just obscuring the fact that the systemic challenges remain, that we have to address this long term, and that’s where the policy component of this is so critical.” 

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“One of the initiatives that the Consumer Brands Association and member companies launched during the pandemic was an effort around contactless delivery. It was initially, of course, really around safety, minimizing contact between drivers and dock personnel. But that same technology and the ability to take paperwork out of the system and automate processes has huge potential to increase efficiency across your operation. And then especially if you can marry it to other technology like geolocation technology or visibility tools that are within the supply chain, you can start to imagine a more automated and seamless end-to-end flow of goods and services, and really trying to unite those. 

“I think that you see companies considering immediate technology fixes, but then also sort of that broader transformational approach — how do you knit all of those technologies together to have more of a network-type model and build greater efficiency, being aware of the fact that you're going to have these record levels of demand at the same time as maybe not the greatest labor or the greatest access to transportation, I think try to mitigate some of those concerns.”

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