The last few years have thrown a lot at the food industry: labor shortages, stalled shipments, pests…but luckily technology to address these issues and make the industry more resilient is hitting its stride. Automation is the answer to many of these challenges, and can help give businesses a boost no matter what comes their way.
#1 Keeping production going when there are labor shortages
We’ve all seen the “we’re hiring” signs: there is a huge issue of labor shortages at the moment, and not just in the food industry. Automation comes to the rescue when there isn’t enough manpower to keep things going. One big vulnerability of the food industry is the number of low-paying jobs. People in lower wage brackets are more likely to switch companies for just a tiny increase in pay. That means much more competition, and much more job hopping. Constantly having to train new staff in factories and plants is costly and puts production in jeopardy.
#2 Helping factories run more consistently
The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on how easily operations can be disrupted by human factors. Between quarantine rules and employee absences, it threw a major wrench into the normal running of many businesses. These can have an enormous impact on the total output of a plant or factory. Automation makes businesses more resilient to disruptions, and contributes to more stability in the production process. This has a beneficial effect on everything from delivery times to product quality. In the end, keeping your business profitable is good for the job stability of your human staff too.
#3 Strengthening resilience in the face of shipping crises
With the business landscape constantly shifting under our feet, companies in the food industry need to stay agile to adjust to changing circumstances. Take the current shipping crisis for example: a huge shortage of containers is creating bottlenecks in the supply chain. This is caused by multiple factors, including COVID-19 and other issues keeping ships stuck in ports. Meanwhile the windows to have products ready for shipment have become shorter. Supplies, machines, parts, raw materials can all get waylaid and throw everything off. Automation can help ease the pain of labor shortages that affect shipping and create more flexibility.
#4 Tracing quality every step of the way
Automating processes helps identify and address errors more quickly. This ensures that the food product remains as high-quality as possible, resulting in fewer claims from customers. By collecting data on food quality throughout every step of the process, contamination or quality issues can be addressed before they create problems. Human error is also eliminated from data entry, making it more accurate and accessible more quickly.
#5 Boosting operational efficiency
The better you can plan, the more efficient your operations will be. Automation makes operations more predictable, allowing you to focus human resources on addressing any issues that may arise. This keeps operations streamlined and continuous, and pushes down operational costs to produce or process food. The result: a bigger profit margin and a more sustainable future for your company!
Want to know more about how automation is transforming the food industry? Reach out to us!