Market Driven Supply Chains Project


  1. Background
  2. The Project
  3. What support is available?
  4. Why should you consider transforming your supply chain, sector or business?
  5. How can you get involved?
  6. Resources


Scotland is blessed with a fantastic larder of some of the best natural produce in the world. With a longstanding reputation for producing quality products and an envied flair for innovation, our vision is to make Scotland internationally known as 'A Land of Food and Drink' and grow our industry to £30 billion by 2030, focussing on opportunities for premium food and drink products.  The performance of Scotland’s Food and Drink businesses is strong.  With a new turnover target of £30bn and ambitions to grow exports to over £7bn by 2017, it is vital to maintain momentum and ensure that as the industry grows there are efficient supply chains that deliver quality products to meet consumer demand.

Modern supply chains are much more than a means of moving product from one destination to another.  For supply chains to work at their best, it is important that they are truly market driven, meaning everyone in the chain is fully informed and engaged and able to meet increased demand, from primary production through to delivery to the consumer.  To drive this ambition, many parts of the sector need help to overcome several of the market driven supply chain issues they face in growing sales in a rapidly changing and demanding global marketplace. 

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The Project

The Market Driven Supply Chain Project (MDSC) is designed to help unlock some of the biggest and most lucrative market opportunities for the Scottish food and drink sector over the next 4 years.  Through a transformational and collaborative approach, it will support and encourage the development of effective supply chains that work seamlessly in delivering what the market wants and adding value throughout the chain.  It will provide a unique array of specialist supply chain expertise and practical insight to the routes to market, helping sectors and businesses in turn to achieve their own growth objectives. 

The Project is funded by Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise with a budget of £1.6m, and is a key priority within Scotland Food & Drink (SF&D) partnership’s action plan.  It is managed by Scottish Enterprise on behalf of the SF&D partnership and delivered by SAOS.

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What support is available?

The Project offers support to sector-based projects, collaborative interventions and sometimes, individual company chains.  Through its specialist team, the MDSC is able to expertly map out the issues within existing or proposed supply chains, develop action plans, and work intensively with the businesses and organisations involved to improve or re-engineer the supply chain, ensuring the Scottish food and drink sector can respond effectively to market driven opportunities.

The support can target whole chains from primary producer to end market; focus on one particular link or relationship in the chain which is proving problematic; or help develop a collaborative solution with a group of companies to share costs or achieve scale.

In helping companies to achieve their growth targets, the MDSC Team provides a range of expertise, including:

  • Market entry strategies
  • Product pricing
  • In-depth practical understanding of routes to export and UK markets
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Food and drink processing
  • Lean management
  • Collaborative & business partnership relationship building skills
  • Substantial sector experience and knowledge from primary production through to the consumer

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Why should you consider transforming your supply chain, sector or business?

Being market driven involves looking inwardly at your own supply chain as much as it entails looking outwardly at the market Sometimes when good sales leads are generated, they flounder on for example, market entry support, logistics, adequate supply of primary product or a lack of understanding of how supply chains function. Management can on occasions, struggle to have the time or the expertise to examine supply chains in-depth to ensure they can best exploit these opportunities.  There are several questions that can be asked in determining the effectiveness and potential strength of a supply chain going forward, i.e.:

  •  Is the supply chain working in a way that can and will deliver growth market opportunities and long term strength?
  • Is it freeing the business to grow, or holding it back?
  • Will the supply chain work effectively in the same way in five years’ time; ten years’ time?
  • Where are targeted improvements needed?
  • What are the things that seem really intractable, and what could really be done about them?
  • Could the business work with others collaboratively to achieve scale or open up new opportunities?
  • IS there an idea that would completely ‘disrupt’, re-design or transform the supply chain or business model, to deliver more value and be more competitive?

The MDSC project is designed to help supply chains overcome these challenges ensuring they have the capability and capacity to deliver effectively time after time.

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How can you get involved?

If you are seriously interested in exploiting market driven opportunities, overcoming supply chain challenges and unlocking the real potential value within your supply chain, then the MDSC Project has the skills and expertise to help you.

We are happy to discuss your initial enquiry and provide advice, but it should be noted that ultimately it will be a competitive process involving a selection panel of Government, Enterprise and industry organisations, who will assess potential projects on the basis of fit with key sector and target market priorities and the potential to make a significant impact and contribution towards industry growth. 

In the first instance, please contact any of the following MDSC Team, i.e.:

Alan Stevenson

Rona Sutherland

Hamish Walls

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Here you'll find the latest case studies and other supplementary information.

Scotherbs Case Study


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