<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/133892.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

As a food manufacturer, you’ll know better than most that customer demands change at an ever-increasing rate. By embracing digitalisation, you can not only combat those demands but also save costs and time in the new product development cycle, as well as across purchasing, production, logistics and ensure you remain traceable and compliant.

Think long-term not just short-term

While it is easy to get swept up in the hype around new technologies and innovations in the here and now, aligning with your customers means taking a long-term view of digital and creating a strategy that is scalable and sustainable in its ability to drive Return on Investment (ROI).

A robust strategy will not only bring the customer to the heart of your operations, but it will also additionally drive up the yield, quality and traceability of your products – which in itself meets your customer demands for quicker access to new products and ranges.

Diffusing innovation

Being one of the first to embrace new technology is often viewed as giving you the competitive edge but is that technology really right for you and your business? And, when fewer than one in five global companies have a digital leader in place, is the key to gaining a competitive edge and driving ROI simply leading on digitalisation in food manufacturing?

Don’t just focus on being an early adopter

The Diffusion of Innovations theory was first studied in an agricultural setting when sociologists wanted to know how rural farmers were learning about the latest advances in agricultural technology. Creating the term ‘early adopters’ we all know today, but the study also categorised the ‘diffusion of innovation’ in the following ways:

  1. Innovators – the very first to test an innovation
  2. Early adopters – the one we are most familiar with, they invest when it is clear that the product has benefits
  3. Early majority – adopting a significant time after the first two groups
  4. Late majority – here’s where the fear of missing out kicks in
  5. Laggards – change-averse

But, where do you fit in? Becoming an early adopter isn’t necessarily always going to support your goal to drive incremental ROI across your food manufacturing business… nor do you want to be a laggard.

The most effective food manufacturers embrace digitalisation by creating a long-term strategy that allows them to embrace relevant, effective technologies specific to their business and their needs – meaning at times they could be considered Innovators, and at other times they could be in the Early Majority category.

The key here is to do what is right for your business at the right time –and ultimately this means what is right for your customer.

One of the building blocks to digitalisation

Automation is a bit of a buzzword across all industries as the digital revolution sees advancements in AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to creep into the everyday.  

For food manufacturers, this gives you the opportunity to introduce technologies that communicate with each other, and as such, reduce the capacity for human error right from the field to fork – allowing you to remain compliant and traceable.

A classic example of this in action is the use of Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) as inventory tags to streamline logistics operations and to reduce waste by providing vital shelf-life information on perishable items.

Automation can enable you to:

  1. Ensure food products not only meet but exceed the quality expected by the customer
  2. Boost efficiency and produce consumables according to specifications
  3. Keep products at the right temperature during transportation as well as on the shelves, with the right correct price and label information

If technology can do all of this for you, surely it makes good business sense to embrace digitalisation by creating a strategy that incorporates automated and smart technologies that work for your business at the right time.

Actioning a digital strategy

Digitalising your business will undoubtedly bring you closer to your customer as the improvement in processes, thanks to a unified strategy, leads to greater customer satisfaction. So where are you in your journey to digitalisation – are you thriving or surviving? 

Make sure your digital transformation strategy is watertight with our roadmap, which you can access below.

Discover your roadmap to digital transformation                                                                                          

Topics

Discuss this post

Recommended posts

We all know that by repeating the same process over and over again, the chances are you’ll get the same results. So, by that logic, if you keep doing the same thing in an ever-changing sector like the food and drink industry for example, the chances are you’ll probably suffer worse results.
The major events of 2020 highlighted the importance of businesses remaining agile in a modern world that’s full of disruptions. Then when you factor in changing consumer demands, workforce shortages and social distancing measures, it’s clear why the use of automation in the food industry is now more than just a trend…
During lockdowns, the “stay at home” messaging from the UK Government drastically changed shopping habits, with many consumers moving towards purchasing their groceries online. As a result, food manufacturers have had to become more agile to deal with the growing online demand, including speeding up the vetting process of products while not compromising on food safety standards.
Many industries have already introduced automated technology into their day-to-day operations. While the food and drink industry has been resistant to this change, digital transformation appears to be finally underway. For example, food businesses are finding automation is helping them gain full visibility of their supply chain, protect their workers from serious injury and reduce labour costs.
Technology might not be the first thing we think of when it comes to food. But it’s certainly transforming the food industry. For example, robotics and automation are ensuring quality while keeping labour costs low. AI is giving food manufacturers, processors and distributors in-depth insights into their process and machinery performance. Drones are allowing damaged crops to be quickly identified and tended to.
right-arrow share search phone phone-filled menu filter envelope envelope-filled close checkmark caret-down arrow-up arrow-right arrow-left arrow-down