Having a successful business practice in the food and beverage sector up until a certain point does not guarantee future survival in the industry. Consumer behaviors are rapidly changing, especially with the faster-than-light-speed sharing of information, and newer generations demanding to know more and using their purchasing power accordingly. How can a food and beverage business keep up the upwards trend (or move into the positive numbers if they haven’t been so far) for the rest of the year and beyond? Data and technology are key.
Time is money, and knowledge is power. When you have both on your side, you can be at a massive advantage against the competition, and set yourself up for a winning season. But how do you guarantee success in the food and beverage sector? By knowing who your customers are and what they want, and putting that knowledge into actionable items as soon as possible. According to this research, younger purchasers such as millennials and generation Z demand transparency in the food and beverage industry. They want to know where their food is coming from, who is preparing it, and what is in it. Organic ingredients, plant-based meals, sustainably sourced items, all from fairly-traded places – this is what more and more of the consumers gaining the purchasing power want to see. For businesses in the food and beverage sector, information like this should mean looking at your lists of vendors and focus on (or change to) the ones that emphasize fair trade and sustainability among their values, and marketing this to their audiences.
What some companies may be afraid of when going down this path is the logistics implications of more organic and plant-based item combinations. When customers want less preservatives then items need to be transported and used more quickly. This is where time is of the essence, and the way to win is by running a software with top-of-the-line capabilities like traceability, scheduling, forecasting, declarations, etc. that can manage operations seamlessly.
We’ve covered valuable information about food safety and recalls before, but the truth of the matter is that this year there have already been close to 50 food item recalls, just in the US. In an era where public opinion can be truly damaging by the exposure and traction that social media provides, many companies will not only lose millions of dollars in the midst of the recall, but possibly much more thereafter because many customers will not be willing to buy from that provider again. The best way to prevent any issues that can have a lasting damaging effect on company reputation is by running every food and beverage business like an Intelligent Enterprise. The right software solution will have the right features to run a business from end to end. It will help to provide an added return on investment just by leveraging the real-time data, tools and visibility that it provides to prevent any issues in the food production chain. The food industry is not the right industry to cut costs on technology and innovation, as second chances are not often granted by shoppers.
As much as we focus on the end consumer, as they are ultimately the affected audience, the truth is that there are many more chess pieces at play here. In the global point of view, there are many conflicts brewing between world powers that may shift the dynamics of trade, tariffs, imports, etc. There’s also a reality that many companies are facing where the only way to survive may be to join forces to spread and share resources. These factors are usually not accounted for and can rarely be planned around, which is why it’s key to rely on a solution that can make a merger seamless and also takes care of all of the logistics when it comes to international dealings. The food and beverage right software will have both, but also offer much more.
We’re at a turning point in history where more companies than ever before will be forced to turn down service and close shop because they didn’t innovate fast enough. The premise of becoming an intelligent enterprise may seem daunting or like it’s only for big businesses, but when the competition is this fierce, intelligence has nothing to do with size. To find out more about how you can take your business to the next level of operational excellence, contact us. Our years of experience combined with our solutions portfolio is the winning recipe to help your business thrive.
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