When you’re talking big business, not many markets can claim the scalp of the food industry. It is a multi-billion dollar money maker that affects everyone for the simple fact we all need sustenance to survive. But our obsession with food has gone way beyond feeding for the sake of living. That is the biggest change to affect the consumer market. The biggest change to affect the manufacturing side of this coin, however, is to with profitability.
More and more businesses are trying to claim a slice of the pie (excuse the pun), and that saturation has impacted on profits. So, what’s the solution? Well, to give it to you in a word, it’s efficiency, and that means investing in the right places as much as anything.
1. It’s time to call in the tech
As anyone with a smartphone will tell you, the rate at which new technology makes the previous generation redundant is incredible. But the reason each new release is such a success is that technology consistently makes people’s lives easier. It could be that you invest in pin-boning machines that quickly and efficiently remove pin bones from salmon, or you could be a craft brewery that needs ultrasonic sensors that can relay real-time algorithms and fermentation data to let you know when a brew is perfect. Whatever the niche you are in- or entering into – make sure you research what tech is available to you.
2. Number 1 for quality control
Nothing is going to make your processes less efficient than having to manage multiple recalls and a sudden backlash in public opinion, which is why you need to do all you can to make sure your quality control is top notch. Metal detectors, X-ray machines a full-time taster; whatever it takes to ensure you limit the chance of a spanner in the works. To give you an idea, there are tools out there that can help you detect contaminants like glass and metals while speaking to your food suppliers about the quality control processes will help you decide whether they are the best match.
3. Don’t underestimate your staff
Even in a world more and more dominated by technology, your greatest investment is – and will always be – the humans in your employment. These are the people that oversee process and procedures, the people that can see firsthand where improvements could be made and where problems have arisen. As such, you should never neglect your investment in these people. That means providing an ongoing education in food production, training them in how to use the latest technology, sending them on project management seminars and motivating them in whatever way fits the mould.
4. Software to save you
All of your processes can – and will – be hugely enhanced by the use of food production software. Customer service tools, checking the shelf-life automatically, metrics analysis, product development, simpler packaging process, inventory management; no matter what your operation needs, there is software that can exponentially increase the efficiencies of your production. All of them. Period.