Keeping The Global Food Supply Moving: A CFO’s Perspective

The instability of global supply chains has been a persistent economic challenge for the past two years, and in no sector is mitigating this challenge more important than in agricultural production and distribution. When it comes to ensuring food reaches consumers in a reliable and cost-effective way, the finance function plays a crucial role in using risk management skills and leveraging new digital technologies to build resilience. I recently spoke with Andrew Kenny, CFO of Scoular, one of the world’s largest grain storage and handling companies, about how the finance team works to help keep food on the table amid unprecedented instability and uncertainty. We also discussed integrating sustainability into overall business strategy and the benefits of Scoular being an employee-owned company.

Jeff Thomson: Global supply chains have experienced unprecedented disruption and backlogs over the past year and a half. As a grain feed and food ingredient supplier to customers and partners in over 80 countries around the world, how have you addressed these challenges? Have you accelerated digital transformation initiatives to improve efficiency? What role does finance play in selecting and implementing technology solutions that benefit the organization?

Andrew Kenny: At Scoular, creating safe, reliable and innovative agricultural supply chain solutions is our never-ending pursuit. The unprecedented supply chain disruption over the past few years has created increased demand for the reliability and expertise of Scoular, who has been doing this for more than 130 years. We addressed these challenges by putting relationships first and continuing to invest in our people and systems. We have accelerated digital transformation across all aspects of our supply chains. We have put in place new digital tools to provide efficiencies for farmers that interact with us, such as Scoularview, tools to digitalize the trucking process, such as the Roger app, technology solutions to provide enhanced risk management capabilities in these dynamic markets such as Tradesparent, and solutions to help us more efficiently forecast our results such as Prophix.

My finance leadership team plays a leading role in selecting, implementing and enhancing these modern digital solutions in partnership with our IT and commercial leadership. Finance is involved in every aspect of our digital transformation from ownership of building the business case for the solution to ensuring we deliver on the efficiencies we set out to achieve.

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