In brief, here are some of the main concerns seafood procurement experts might have as they try to enforce efficiency. Strategic sourcing can be an essential answer to these concerns.
Recording and transferring data
Fish mislabeling is a somewhat infamous problem for the industry, and it can stem from the more general concern of a lack of accurate recorded data. A 2015 report from The Nature Conservancy and Future of Fish said that the "lack of vessel-level data capture" was one of the key challenges of the field, there are other logistics issues.
For example, the report said that paper fishery records can be lost, leading to incomplete recording. Sometimes, it added, fishers can "transform" some of their catch (by fileting it, shelling it or some other kind of processing) before recording data about it, leaving out some crucial details.
Good procurement practices in these cases can mean checking with the participants at each level of a supply chain and verifying information for later reference. In cases where providers aren't technologically updated yet, this attention to detail may be even more important to get a commitment to responsiveness.
The staff driving procurement on an executive level should be ready to meet the challenges of the industry and lead the rest of the organization in the right direction. This desire to tackle several different elements of supplier relationships appears to be part of the motivation behind one recent procurement appointment mentioned in Undercurrent News.
As the publication said, Santa Monica Seafood decided to place former consultant David Harrison as its vice president of procurement. Undercurrent quoted the seafood company's CEO, Roger O'Brien, who explained some of why they had made this choice, putting Harrison in a role with great responsibility.
"Dave has been actively mentoring all of us go from good to great for most of this year. We want him to continue this effort for years to come."
While it's just one position, it's an example of the company knowledge and diverse type of supplier experiences you might want to prioritize in the people it hires.
Sudden cost shifts
A final thing to consider is the changing nature of the seafood industry and the call for stable supplier relationships when other aspects of the market don't seem as stable. Mintec analyst Jonathan Stokes recently wrote about a sudden dip in scallop prices this year, which he said is related to the larger size of scallops caught this season.
A recent NOAA report on fishery statistics from 2015 contained some related information, however, saying that the scallop landings revenue increased by $25 million in the course of a year.
When maximizing supplier relationships is necessary, thinking strategically can have the biggest benefits, and in seafood, that can solve many issues and keep a company efficient.