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5 CIO concerns addressed: Ways food manufacturers can be customer-centric

22 February, 2018
5 CIO Concerns

Between now and 2050, the world’s population will increase from 7.2 billion today to 9.6 billion in 2050. This will require a 70% increase in food production, without additional land or natural resources to do so[Source: FAO, UN]. With finite resources, it will take innovation and use of new age technologies to meet the world’s food demand and serve the customers. This includes using new technologies.

Great companies understand the primary component of a business success – ‘Customer’. The food industry has been dominated by customers – their preferences, needs and demands. Companies are leveraging technology to meet new customer behavior and demands, thereby ensuring that they stay ahead of their competitors. They know that if a value proposition is built around what customers really want – and will want in the future – this will lead to business success. This industry is also governed by factors such as huge supply chain, quickly perishable goods, ensuring the relevant safety standards, and fierce competition.


By the use of technology you can greatly reduce the complexity, risk, and uncertainty of food production. We know that the global business operations is now availing the benefit of cloud and analytics while leveraging the right software solution for organisation. The combination of these new age technologies will help build a digital ecosystem that can help you meet market demand in a profitable manner and build a more competitive company. When you implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the Azure cloud and connect it with the business analytics and insight resources available on the same platform, you can chart your path to a vast range of business advantages and beneficial changes in your food production and distribution.


Here are five CIO’s concerns from the real-life experiences of food companies and how they can be solved by Microsoft Dynamics 365.

#1: Accurate prediction and demand planning

By leveraging data and analytics, you can generate sales forecasts based on historical buying patterns and incorporate competitive and market intelligence. You can use these forecasts to make sure that you meet demand with the right products. Planned promotions and special marketing campaigns based on data evidence increase the likelihood of their success. Find out how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can make rapid adjustments in demand planning.

#2: Quality deliverable to the customers

Quality is one of the parameters that is of paramount importance to customers or consumers and this is always be the first element that will prefer while buying the product or service. Delivering quality service/product is a concern for CIO’s as it needs to be maintained and ensured that the same consistency is being maintained. Analysis of relevant data nodes and integration of the relevant touch points via new ERP solution coupled with BI and analytics helps maintain the right quality that is delivered to the customers. This in turn greatly enhances the operational efficiency.

Additionally, by applying predictive analytics on customer behavior and patterns, you can predict their changing preferences accurately and then tweak the production to develop the service or product that is most appealing to your customer base.

#3: Market basket analysis

Social listening across the channels and media where consumers spend time provides you with the basic data for assessing changing preferences and emerging trends. You can apply business analytics to those findings to see which products and product types are becoming more popular, what flavors and textures are trending up, and how well your products serve your brand. Those analytical outcomes, in turn, can connect to your demand and production planning, enhancing your ability to launch new products or tweak your current offerings to satisfy demand and make consumers happy.

Market basket analysis is a new technique that companies are adopting to predict the most obvious customer behavior and pattern of product or service selection, based on which the customer makes a purchase decision. Sentiment analysis can also be done over a period of time to improve the efficiency of cross-selling through marketing messages like offers and coupons. Sentiment analysis can also be done to monitor the customer emotions on a scale over social media networks.

#4: Personalization and deeper customer connect:

The ultimate aim of many deploying the right ERP solution coupled with the power of cloud, BI and analytics is to provide a personalized, customer-centric experience to every buyer. This is the ultimate aim of a CIO and to achieve this in a seamless manner is a challenge for most of the global leaders.

As this process involves analysing several data point and essential analysis of customer views like - what they like, how much they are willing to pay, what they share on social media, the reviews they make, the stories they resonate with etc. Today new age ERP solution that offers the perfect digital ecosystem has made tracking, collection and analysis all this data possible.

You can use the CRM capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 together with business analytics to identify and understand trends and patterns in sales, returns, and customer complaints. You can fine-tune your data findings to highlight events associated with various sales regions, distributors, or outlets. Doing so helps you spot and replace problematic batches of products and materials, work with poorly performing resellers, and pinpoint quality and performance issues related to your employees or production equipment. As you resolve or eliminate a range of troublesome issues, you can improve customer satisfaction and improve the performance of your business processes.

#5: Customer Service:

Customer service is one such part which is hardest to optimize. Nowadays there are multiple customer touchpoints like outlets, mobile app, website, social media, review sites, etc. All of these collectively impact the customer experience and his level of satisfaction. CIOs want to leverage this data collected from various outlets to arrive at meaningful insights as this will serve as a game changer in surviving the competition.



The world now is gearing towards a customer centric approach where consumer-led strategies are driven by the wants of the customer. These are generated by being able to rightly leverage the data on consumer insights, integrate the operations via the use of the right solution and then developing the right product/solution that meets the needs of the consumers. Technology is thus the enabler that helps CIOs drive the business toward serving the customer. CIOs are investing hugely in developing technology roadmap that is centered towards digital ecosystem and this they are doing by reserving a majority of the portion of their IT spend for ERP, cloud, analytics, BI and IoT.

Put Columbus food industry and ERP experts to work for you

Ready to take the next step? Columbus has the food industry and technical experience to help you gain the full benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and business analytics on the Azure cloud. We know how to deploy solutions on-premise, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments to enable the outcomes you aim for. Our process optimization and systems integration expertise helps you produce greater returns from your existing technologies and practices. Columbus food industry clients include leading enterprises that embark on global transformation initiatives as well as growing organizations that look for greater efficiency or want to boost their business viability.



You can also download our free ebooks on demand planningcosting, and recall management and also our guide on benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for food manufacturers.


[Online: Publication] Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. Report on “How to feed the world 2050”.