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Is your food manufacturing company planning to implement a digital strategy? While acknowledging the need for a digital strategy in itself is a significant first step, the road towards digital transformation is a long and complicated one.

What does digital strategy mean for food manufacturers?

Digitization is the order of the day. Today, there is no industry, sector, or business vertical that is untouched by the digital revolution. Food manufacturing— a predominantly consumer-driven industry often has to cater to the evolving demands of the customers. A smart digital strategy will help food manufacturers reduce expenses, save time, and improve efficiency in its vital business functions like product development, logistics, production, purchases, etc. While doing so, your strategy needs to retain your traceability and compliance.  

Why is digital strategy important in the long term?

With the companies across the spectrum prioritizing digital transformation, it might seem like an urgent need. In reality, by rushing into any digital strategy, you may lose focus on the long-term needs and goals. 

An effective digital strategy will align with the long-term view of the company. Also, it should drive Return on Investment (ROI) with its scalability and sustainability. A comprehensive digital strategy needs to be customer-oriented to improve the quality, yield, and traceability of the products.  

How can digital strategy diffuse innovation?

Though being one of the first companies to adopt new technology will give you an edge over your competitors, the suitability of the strategy to your business derives its value in the long-term. Ultimately, if the technology doesn’t resolve your critical business challenges, it would not yield desirable results in the long-term. 

 

Why shouldn’t early adoption be your only priority?

According to the theory of ‘diffusion of innovation,’ any new idea or technology is embraced in different phases. Here are the various categories of adopters: 

  • Innovators- are the first to embrace and test an innovation
  • Early Adopters- are the ones to adopt the technology after the benefits are clear
  • Early Majority- are the second in line after early adopters to invest in the innovation
  • Late Majority- are the ones who adopt the product in fear of missing out
  • Laggards- are the ones who rigidly resist change

Which one of the above are you? Early adoption does come with its advantages. But if your goal is an incremental ROI, early adoption may not always guarantee it. That said, you also don’t want to be a laggard and let your competitors get ahead of you with the support of improved technology. 

The best way to embrace digitalization for your food manufacturing company is to focus on building an efficient long-term digital strategy. A well-planned digital transformation will help you be relevant while adopting technologies that address your specific business needs and issues. There is no harm in being in the Early Majority category if you have a solid strategy with which you can maximize the benefits of the new technology for your business.

Automation

Automation is at the center of the digital revolution, globally. With the accelerated growth and adoption of AI and IoT across the industries, automation has become a new necessity. Food manufacturers are readily embracing automation to reduce manual efforts in their critical operations and to integrate key business functions to optimize productivity.  For instance, food manufacturing companies have introduced the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which give vital information on the shelf-life of perishable items. This information helps manufacturers enhance their logistics processes and reduce waste.

Automation allows you to:

  • Make sure the quality of the food products not only meet but exceed customer expectations
  • Improve the efficiency to manufacture products as per the specifications
  • Maintain correct price, label information and right temperature on the shelf and during transportation

The benefits above are only the tip of the iceberg. Technology can transform the way you do your business and yield better results with fewer resources. With the right strategy in place, your food manufacturing business can optimize business operations and gain a competitive edge.

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