In today’s rapidly evolving market, many food businesses are faced with providing creative solutions to consumer problems in order to stay competitive.
This has placed extra emphasis on the need for workplace innovation. But getting your employees to provide fresh, innovative ideas and still perform their usual daily tasks to an optimum level can be too much. They simply won’t have the energy for it.
By working with an innovation consultancy, you can gain access to quality independent advice that helps support food product development and maximises its chances of success.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
- Identify and fix broken processes
- Offer a fresh perspective on your organisation
- Support and develop your team
- Discover new ways of doing business
- Clarify your vision of the future
- Create a clear growth strategy and uncover opportunities
- Ensure excellent food safety standards and practices
Identify and fix broken processes
If your business is repeatedly following the same processes because it’s “always what you’ve done”, you’re doing your company more harm than good. Not only does this leave little room for innovation, but it can also lead to inefficiencies and bad habits that stunt business growth.
For example, sticking with outdated legacy technology will leave you vulnerable to security attacks and system downtime across your organisation, affecting productivity. An innovation consultant can ask the key questions about your processes and recommend better alternatives/solutions that can make a significant difference to your bottom line.
That advice could be choosing a food ERP system that can handle the complexities of food products and create a single version of the truth. Or introducing a modern-day CRM system that’s integrated with your ERP to facilitate customer engagement as well as remove system disparity and fragmented information.
Offer a fresh perspective on your organisation
Sometimes, getting a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. A consultant can give recommendations based on their extensive industry knowledge and contextualise key trends, helping you unlock new ways of operating.
This could be moving manual processes into automated ones which can improve efficiency, supply chain visibility and keep labour costs low.
As they’re well-versed in innovation strategy, they can provide meaningful insight that your teams may not see because they are too busy working in your business to see what improvements could be made.
Support and develop your team
Work with an innovation consultancy to get access to highly qualified guidance that you wouldn’t normally have to support employee development.
Some areas an innovation consultancy can support and develop your team members include:
- Recognise where systems might be failing and preventing creative ideas/problem solving from happening – if your teams are spending a lot of time finding workarounds to your broken systems, they have less capacity to truly innovate in ways that can create growth opportunities for your company
- Outline training plans that bridge the digital divide – this not only helps your team understand how best to use the new tech, but also makes them more receptive to any future digitalisation change
Discover new ways of doing business
It can be hard to identify new opportunities when you’ve become accustomed to one way of working for a significant period of time.
On the other hand, a consultancy has worked with multiple businesses like yours and has a diverse background of knowledge to draw on. With this experience, they can share best practices and the lessons they’ve learned from other clients, helping you discover new ways of doing business.
For example, a change could be using chatbots to provide a more personalised experience to your customers.
Clarify your vision of the future
Can you remember the last time your business or digital marketing strategies were reviewed or updated? If the answer is no, do you really know what direction you want your business to go? Or, do you have a clear vision in your head but struggling to get it down on paper?
An innovation consultant can help you with all of these scenarios and map out a strategy that brings your ideas to life and puts them into action.
For example, they can offer tips on how to increase e-commerce sales, advise on which marketing channels for your products/services will give better ROI and help with various digital campaigns.
Create a clear growth strategy and uncover opportunities
Having a clear and viable growth strategy is vital when looking to develop and sell new products/services. Today’s consumers are fickle with their brand loyalty and will have no hesitation in moving on from yours if it doesn’t fit with their values.
Launching a new venture by yourself can cost you a lot of money and wasted opportunities. An innovation consultancy specialises in new product development and can give valuable direction for the demand and development of new products/services, plus provide tips on ways to grow your business. They will know which consumers are eating what, why, when and how often.
An innovation consultancy can also provide insight into new business model opportunities and give strategic support from the very beginning of your planning process.
Ensure excellent food safety standards and practices
Food safety isn’t a trend, it’s a necessity – especially when you consider the rise in consumers who suffer from food allergies. And then there are specific food trends which have grown in popularity (e.g. plant-based food). So, the pressure’s on to speed up the vetting process of products while not compromising on standards.
The right consultancy will offer the following:
- Assessment of your current food safety procedures (e.g. who your supplies are, storage practices, maintenance, training records, etc) and identify good practices plus the potential hazards and risks
- A food safety management system which ensures consistent and compliant procedures across your business – helping prevent food safety problems before they occur
- Provide incident support if your company is on the receiving end of any suspected food poisoning, food complaints or EHO visits
- Planning of food hygiene and safety online training courses for your teams
Plus, a food consultant can help you gain certifications where your in-house team doesn’t have the necessary technical knowledge to achieve a comfortable pass.
Don’t write off bringing in outside help to grow your business – the investment is well worth it
Working with an innovation consultancy can not only fix broken processes, open up new opportunities for business and clarify your vision of the future, but protect your products/services from wider issues such as regulatory violations.
In a modern world full of disruptions and rapidly evolving technology, the pressure to meet changing consumer demands and market trends has never been greater. But the thought of transforming your business operations with technology can be a daunting thought, even if you’re tackling it incrementally.
In our future of food guide, we provide tips to help you through the process, analyse the top industry trends of 2021 and much more.