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The State Of Food Manufacturing And Digital Trends For The Year Ahead

The food manufacturing industry is facing new challenges and changes. Supply chain issues are affecting manufacturers in every industry due to the rise of eCommerce and online shopping.

Food manufacturers must now adopt digital trends to adjust to the modern supply chain climate. Here are the tools, technologies, and trends that are helping food manufacturing businesses not only keep abreast, but thrive.
Photo: Arno Senoner/unsplash

Food Manufacturing Industry Supply Chain Challenges

The pandemic forced consumers to look for new ways to shop, bringing on the immense eCommerce and online retail boom that we see today. Online retail has caused supply chain challenges, affecting the food manufacturing industry in many ways.

Where consumers would usually eat at a restaurant, they are eating at home. This means that food manufacturers are receiving a lower quantity of bulk orders for essential ingredients like potatoes. Food manufacturers had to implement smaller packaging to compensate for this decrease in bulk orders.

In addition to the changing consumer demands, food manufacturers are also contending with a low supply of raw materials. For instance, vegetable processors in the US have struggled to import enough vegetables to process.

The food manufacturing industry faces many challenges ahead, and, likely, online shopping and grocery shopping is here to stay. So, what are food manufacturing businesses doing to adapt to the changes in demand and supply chain issues?

Digital Trends For Food Manufacturing

Let’s discuss some of the latest digital trends for food manufacturing that have emerged with the changing supply chain climate.

Blockchain In The Food Industry

Blockchain technologies continue increasing in popularity, and food manufacturers are catching wind of this trend. With blockchain, food manufacturers can confirm transactions in their peer-to-peer network without a central clearing authority. Food manufacturers leverage blockchain to implement technological advancements and utilize a decentralized and distributed record-keeping system.

Increased Adoption Of Automation And IoT

With the climate crisis, consumers seek more sustainable food manufacturing practices. One of the best ways for food manufacturers to implement more sustainable processes is to adopt IoT for increased visibility. IoT can indicate where food manufacturers can streamline processes to reduce energy wastage, improving their ROI regarding monthly energy bills.

Food manufacturers can also achieve more efficiency by implementing automation. Creating automated workflows for production based on their bill of materials allows food manufacturers to reduce manual data entry tasks and provide employees with a clearer picture of their responsibilities.

Adopting Future-Proof Building Security

During this turbulent time, food manufacturers must improve building security to prevent data leaks, shrinkage, and incidents that could inhibit production. Cloud-based technologies are dominating the security sphere and allowing for more responsive security.

Cloud-based security technology provides security teams with automated mobile alerts when a potential security event is detected, allowing for a more immediate response. Food manufacturers are shifting towards cloud-based technology to prevent data breaches and losses for more stringent security without increased manual effort.

Implementing Food Manufacturing Software

Food manufacturing software is helping manufacturing businesses to migrate to the cloud and automate processes in every facet of the manufacturing process. By implementing food manufacturing software, food manufacturers can streamline processes and gain a more competitive edge in the industry during the eCommerce boom.

Some of the best features of food manufacturing software include:

• Live inventory management - with food manufacturing software, you can track your inventory to ensure you have all the necessary components for your products and avoid production delays due to low stock. Food manufacturing software also tracks the expiry dates of your perishable items to ensure compliance with food health and safety standards.

• Forecasting - real-time master planning allows you to gain forecasting insights and improve business intelligence, equipping your teams to make better decisions.

• Costing - costing features of food manufacturing software allow you to gain more insight into how cost-effective the manufacturing process is and avoid overspending that could affect your profit margins, switching to better sources for procurement.

• Integrations - food manufacturing tools allow you to keep up with the rise in eCommerce by offering integrations with popular eCommerce websites for improved inventory management based on your sales orders and projected sales.

• Warehouse management features - some food manufacturing software helps your teams to manage warehouse processes better and ensure quality control down to small tasks.

• Accounting integration - you can integrate food manufacturing software with your existing accounting software to improve financial management based on production insights.

With the supply chain issues and changing demands of the food industry, food manufacturers need access to tools that give them more control over spending, inventory management, and quality assurance processes. Food manufacturing software provides the efficiency and increased business intelligence that food manufacturers require.

Photo: Mark Stebnicki/pexels

Summary

eCommerce and online shopping have become increasingly popular since the pandemic began, affecting the supply chain and availability of raw materials. These changes affect the food manufacturing industry, increasing the need for improved efficiency. With new trends and technologies, food manufacturers can prevent losses, improve efficiency, and meet the demands of this new consumer climate.

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