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Food and Beverage Manufacturing During Covid-19 Pandemic

Food and Beverages | Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Food and beverage manufacturing is implementing technologies around productivity, safety deployments, and the incorporation of predictive analytics and increased traceability.

FREMONT, CA : Manufacturers in the food sector are accustomed to the variability in supply and demand driven by various factors. Many foodservice providers have had to manage with almost zero demand. Some manufacturers have been forced to close due to employee illness. Others have had demand increases based on changing consumer behavior, pushing their plant ability to the max. Deciding the new normal demand patterns is perplexing to several foods and beverage executives. At the same time, they battle with the near-term hurdle of remaining operational while overcoming supply chain and worker safety issues.

The problems of speed and visibility in the supply chain are vital to food and beverage manufacturers. Several initiatives were deployed as an immediate response to the pandemic but are just a temporary stopgap. To meet these hurdles long-term, several have had to take a closer look at how technology can be leveraged to streamline their processes and increase overall efficiencies. They recognize that the problems they address will continue to have importance.

Safety has taken on a new or widened meaning. While consumers and regulators continue to hope that manufacturers will only offer safe products, the essentiality of worker safety has also increased. Those who prioritize innovation in all areas of safety will likely see a competitive benefit. Productivity and efficiency are a major focal point for nearly every food firm – whether productivity is weighed amongst employees or the technology being leveraged by staff. Food and beverage distributors have had to increase production in certain areas while dialing down production in others while managing productivity from staff and technological applications deployed previously.

Manufacturers are likely to scale predictive analytic solutions as part of their supply chain management, especially to predict and respond to any anomalies. Fortunately, this isn’t the only means such technology can assist – the same AI can reduce unplanned downtime, capital expenditure, and asset maintenance costs and enhance safety and workforce effectiveness.

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