The Technology Behind Your Thanksgiving Dinner

November 10, 2015 • Blog Post • By HPE Matter Contributor


  • You're probably thinking, "What do the cloud and Internet of Things have to do with Thanksgiving?" Well, we made a cartoon just for you

A look at the web of Big Data that brings the turkey to your table

This Thanksgiving, Americans will eat an estimated 45 million turkeys. The logistics of this holiday meal require more than a trip to your local supermarket and figuring out seating arrangements for your family members. Your Thanksgiving turkey ends up on store shelves at the tail end of a complicated supply chain with many moving parts. From the farm to the supermarket to your dinner table - technology trends like the cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things play a critical role in ensuring that your food remains safe and arrives in time for the big day.

Here's a look inside the Turkey Day supply chain.

Warehouse management systems & risk assessment

At any given time, farmers need a comprehensive view of their operations in relation to the entire supply chain. Warehouse management systems (WMS) allow farms and distribution centers to manage operations, mobilize inventory and efficiently expedite flows.

Food industry supply chains are often fragmented, with many farmers, distributors, supermarkets and other organizations contributing to the ecosystem. The Internet of Things and sensor technology make it possible for these organizations to capture and communicate relevant data in real time.


Big Data guides the merging of delivery networks for more efficient processing and distribution. Companies are evaluating variables like strategic priorities, market context and company needs as part of this analysis.


Tackling the unforeseen

What happens in the event of a widespread illness or shortage? Forecasting capabilities are essential for streamlining supply chains and identifying disruptions and potential impacts to consumers. Automation and log management tech are key to this process. It's possible to foresee interruptions to the status quo.

The wealth of historical customer information makes it possible for stakeholders in the supply chain, from farmers to distributors, to predict future trends. Companies are using new analytics tools to create predictive model factories to more quickly identify patterns.

Temperature control

New technologies for climate control are used in grocery stores to optimize your food's safety and shelf life. Storefronts can actually transmit information back to manufacturers, in near real time, for optimal product quality.


The bottom line

Our Thanksgiving meals are the end result of a series of complex supply chain interactions. Supporting technologies will continue to evolve as new opportunities emerge every day. From drones to transportation tech, the optimization possibilities are endless.