By nature, supply chain services involve a lot of parties and a lot of moving parts. Working with other vendors throughout the supply chain process means the monitoring of goods is only in your control for a brief period of time. This opens up your environment to potentially becoming a perfect home for pests. If just one step in the supply chain isn’t exercising proper protocol for pest management, it can quickly become a problem for everyone else down the line. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is important, yet overlooked, in supply chain management. We’ve outlined three key areas of the supply chain that can easily become weak links and ways to integrate pest management during each stage.
The supplier is the first stop for product and can also be the first stop for pests. Manufacturing facilities are prone to pests, offering everything they need to survive – food, water, and shelter. And worse, pests that enter a supplier’s warehouse can travel through the supply chain to eventually harbor in your own warehouse. Be sure you’re choosing suppliers who have a strong integrated pest management regiment in place and are following it regularly. Share documentation of pest management treatments and plans with each other, too.
It ultimately doesn’t matter how clean the manufacturing facilities are if the transportation vehicles are facing a pest problem. Transportation can be one of the most vulnerable links in the supply chain – consistently moving, not regularly inspected for pests, and being exposed to multiple different climates and terrains during its journey. The more time goods spend in this stage, the greater their risk for pest hitchhikers. Thoroughly inspect goods before they come off the trucks and then again in warehouse holding areas to help prevent any pests from migrating to the next stage in your supply chain.
Pests can often take refuge inside of the packaging for your goods. Wood, cardboard, and paper make excellent food and harborage for many pests. Inspect packages for bite marks, tears, rips, droppings, and damaged or leaking containers. Packaging is usually one of the first places you can spot the problem through any stage in the supply chain.
After taking a closer look, you’ll find the open doors pests may be using to gain access to your product throughout the supply chain. Be sure to integrate pest control into every decision you make to improve the overall effectiveness of your pest management efforts and ensure the safety of your products.