In the food industry, innovative technologies have allowed food businesses to improve their operations and minimise costs, all the while boosting agility, efficiency and productivity.
But launching a digital transformation project is riddled with challenges. It’s not just as simple as flicking on a light switch – it’s a continuous process of building an interconnected system that transforms workflow across different departments.
That’s why many businesses choose to work with a digital transformation agency or expert to make the process as smooth as possible. In this blog, we highlight five benefits of outsourcing your digital transformation project:
- Improved security with the best practices in place
- Flexibility and scalability: control the cost of your transformation
- Experience and expertise takes the pressure off your in-house team
- Mitigate risks to save time and money
- Access to highly qualified resources
1. Improved security with the best practices in place
Trying to digitise certain assets can quickly become a problem if you’re relying on in-house security who may not be as well-versed on best practices as they could be.
By outsourcing, you’ll be able to take advantage of deep industry experience that’s hard to find anywhere else. Typically, a business won’t have this level of expertise in-house because:
- There’s not enough work inside an organisation to justify having an experienced digital transformation person employed full-time
- Digital transformation experts are expensive to hire
- The top digital transformation experts are already working as consultants for an agency
Essentially, it’s not cost-effective for companies to have an in-house business transformation specialist unless you’re always digitally transforming. Plus, you need different skills to run a business than to the ones you need to run a digital transformation project.
The right digital transformation agency will also have experience in the food sector. This is because there’ll be industry-specific problems to solve and only if they’ve navigated these challenges before will they know what to do to overcome them.
For example, they’ll be able to assist in implementing the best practices around online delivery such as secure checkouts, automatic logouts for inactivity and random shopper ID verification. These measures help prevent breaches that expose customers names, passwords and other sensitive information as well as protect your brand reputation.
2. Flexibility and scalability: control the cost of your transformation
Another advantage of working with a digital transformation agency is the ability to control the cost of your transformation. Depending on the changing business and market demands, you may need to adapt by scaling your project up or down in response.
For example, a digital transformation agency will have one ear on the ground when it comes to keeping up with industry trends. And of course, they’ll know the secrets to scaling on demand so they can help you adapt quickly and effectively.
One of the biggest challenges in terms of scaling operations is the ability to retain the quality of the product. A digital transformation agency will provide you with the right technology (like an ERP system) that has the scalability and flexibility to support your growth and strategic direction.
3. Expertise takes the pressure off your in-house team
Digital transformation requires expertise in a wide range of technologies. By working with a digital transformation agency, you can fill the technology gaps in your business with their resources and gain access to certain skills that your team lacks for a flexible amount of time.
A digital transformation agency usually bring experience in areas that are critical to digital transformation – take Columbus, for an example. Our Aptean Food and Beverage ERP solution places emphasis on the key control points which are store, control, produce, test and track and trace functionality.
We’ve helped companies successfully implement their digital transformation projects day in, day out for the last 30 years. Working with an experienced agency like us ensures minimal risk during implementation and frees up your in-house team to focus on other business-critical tasks.
4. Mitigate risks to save time and money
Businesses attempting to transform their processes for the first time are likely to run into a several problems. A survey conducted by Deloitte found that poor implementation tactics, limited resources and resistance to change were some of the top challenges associated with digital transformation projects. This underlines the importance of working with an experienced agency rather than keeping it in-house.
By working with a transformation agency that understands and is familiar with food industry challenges, you can:
- Reduce the risk of unforeseen complications or delays to the project
- Save time and money by not needing to recruit (or onboard) a whole new team-in house to implement the project
- Get started with the project much quicker
- Allow your teams to focus on other vital business tasks. Digital transformation projects are time-consuming – let an agency handle this so you don’t have to
Technology implemented by a food digital transformation agency will be able to gather and manage data from multiple sources throughout your business process and supply chain. This full visibility of your operations ultimately reduces the chances of product recalls as a result of incorrect or missing information from labelling.
5. Access to highly qualified resources
Digital transformation initiatives of any scale require a lot of resources. This becomes more challenging if your IT department is already spread thin by other important responsibilities.
By outsourcing to an agency, you’ll be minimising the burden on your in-house staff and gaining access to highly qualified IT specialists who may have skills your teams might be lacking. Ultimately, outsourcing allows for smoother resource allocation and helps position digital transformation projects for success without sacrificing other IT areas of your business.
Overall, there’s a natural transition to technology happening in food manufacturing, with market leaders re-evaluating the resilience of their supply chain and looking to implement technology to improve predictive ordering, end-to-end supply chain visibility and real-time demand forecasting.
By working with a digital transformation agency, you can keep pace with competitors and reap the rewards from industry-specific technology such as greater visibility from beginning to end and traceability.
What does digital transformation in the food industry look like?
Outsourcing doesn’t mean giving up control of your business – you’ll still be setting the goals, strategy and approving tasks despite seemingly not doing most of the background work.
At Columbus, our research is showing us that going digital is a must for food businesses who aspire to become market leaders in the future. But how do you do this successfully?
In our future of food guide, we look at the industry’s take on digitalisation, current trends and highlight the importance of having a proactive mindset when it comes to embracing technology.
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