Is It Time for Digital Transformation in the Food and Beverage Industry?

You would think that being a player in the food and beverage industry, you’d have it made. Everyone needs to eat and drink ; in the EU, food and beverage expenditures average almost 13% of household consumption, and the industry generates one out of every six dollars of the US industrial output. However, challenges abound in this space.

One of those challenges is keeping up with the changing technological tides to meet the demands of clients. Retailers are increasingly demanding the implementation of technologies such as modern ERP systems, mobility, and IoT so they can sell goods to their customers faster and more profitably. Read on to learn about how the food and beverage industry is at the crossroads of digital transformation and what they must do to succeed well into the future.

What Retailers Want

Everyone in the US who has seen Wal-Mart’s commercials knows retailer’s tagline by heart: “everyday low prices.” They don’t give much thought to how Wal-Mart achieves that goal, though.

Wal-Mart has quite clear technological requirements for its suppliers. If suppliers don’t use technology to provide complete transparency into the entire supply chain, Wal-Mart simply won’t do business with them. Given as this national chain is a powerhouse, suppliers run a risk by not being up to snuff.

Wal-Mart is but one example. Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Albertsons are other companies with similarly stringent requirements. Why do they demand so much of suppliers? It’s not just because they can – retailers face demands from consumers for less expensive, safe foods and beverages that are ready to eat or drink right away. To stay agile and competitive, retailers have to ask more of their suppliers.

The State of Technology in the Food and Beverage Industry

The software used in the food and beverage industry is by and large of the legacy variety. Manufacturers keep this software because it works. That being said, just because something works doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better. It also means that you might be missing out on opportunities because there are many functionalities your legacy software lacks.

Legacy software used in the food and beverage industry can’t connect to mobile applications, today’s ERP systems, or IoT devices, let alone the enormous floods of data those technologies generate. Reliance on legacy software means that you can’t embrace new opportunities that enable you to thrive in today’s highly competitive market.

What’s the solution? Moving to modern software and technologies transforms your supply chain into a transparent, efficient system that generates profit for you and value for your customers. You no longer have to worry that a retailer won’t do business with you because you don’t utilize IoT devices in your manufacturing process or because your ERP system doesn’t talk to other systems.

For the food and beverage industry, the time has come to embrace digital transformation. Companies cannot pretend that technological change isn’t taking place – this approach costs them money and reputational damage. The time for legacy software used in the food and beverage industry is over – get ready for the next wave of technology.

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