In today's hyper-digital world, technology-savvy consumers have become more demanding. For example, today's consumers are averse to spending precious time visiting supermarkets or grocery stores—instead, they prefer to place their orders online, usually using their smartphones. And if that's not enough, they also want the best quality products at affordable prices! So is the food manufacturing industry geared up to meet these growing needs?
Digitalization is making rapid strides in various industrial environments.
Research by PwC has shown that 90% of companies expect digitalization to enhance their competitiveness. However, the report also indicates that most businesses believe they lack the right talent, robust strategy, and advanced IT infrastructure required to implement IIoT and digitalization.
The food and beverages (F&B) manufacturing industry has been slow to catch up with the digitization challenge and integrate new technologies in their existing processes.
But as consumers demand more convenient access to F&B products and at a faster rate, manufacturers world-over are looking to improve their manufacturing processes, optimize their supply chain and increase overall operational efficiency.
How to scale during periods of accelerated change in the food & beverages industry
The food manufacturing industry is consumer-facing and is also highly controlled. F&B manufacturers must focus on producing high-quality products that comply with stringent quality requirements while balancing operational costs and striving continuously for growth. As they scale to meet increasing demand, they must tackle many challenges—reducing waste, optimizing costs, and increasing levels of compliance.
Pandemic-specific challenges like erratic demand and supply patterns, staff shortages, extra hygiene requirements, social distancing restrictions, and non-essential plant closures put additional pressure on resources and costs.
These businesses need robust IT infrastructure and smart digital solutions to allow their manufacturing units to scale efficiently and achieve growth even in such challenging market conditions. Some organizations successfully navigated the COVID-19 situation by automating their operations to optimize resources and costs.
An IDC survey of digital transformation in the food industry showed that companies are focusing on cost, growth, and operational
performance as their top 3 business priorities. 44.7% of the respondents admitted that the primary driver for making IT investments in their organization was reducing operational or product costs. 41.3% cited challenges in expanding into new markets, segments, or geographies. 40.9% quoted improving operational performance as their priority.
These challenges are driving businesses to look inward to re-engineer and automate processes as part of their broader digital transformation initiatives. In this scenario, digital process automation (DPA) is rapidly gaining importance and replacing business process management (BPM), which has traditionally been a critical component of ERP deployment.
Achieving scale is the top priority, and if process automation offers a way to meet that aim, the food industry will sit up and take notice!
What is digital process automation (DPA)?
Digital process automation (DPA) usually comprises low-code development tools to automate processes that span multiple applications. It focuses on automating (or partially automating) processes that typically require some form of manual human intervention.
Since DPA spans multiple business applications, it finds a place in enterprise digital transformation initiatives to streamline business processes and optimize customer journeys.
Businesses are now strategizing to digitize their operations to respond with agility to changing market demands and become more customer-focused. With DPA, organizations can improve the agility of their business operations at a lower cost and enhance the quality of their customer service. For example, with AI-enabled chatbots available to address customer service issues quickly and accurately, customers no longer have to wait in queues at contact centers to resolve their queries.
How digital process automation drives efficiencies for food manufacturers
Need to improve revenue and reduce costs? Boost efficiency? Streamline internal workflows?
Digital process automation may be the answer to your business challenges. DPA has numerous benefits that ultimately result in improving the overall efficiency of your food manufacturing business:
- No wastage of time: Time is precious, so your employees must use it for the right activities. Digital process automation empowers employees by freeing them from mundane tasks and allowing them to focus on core business aspects like innovation, business development, and customer delight. Automated workflows also improve job satisfaction—employees no longer have to worry about documentation or manual paperwork and can do higher-value work that helps them grow and achieve their career aspirations.
- Cost-effectiveness: Digital process automation makes operations more agile while optimizing costs. Agility means that companies can quickly take new products to the market and be more responsive to customers. Automation solutions use cloud data storage, providing better security for financial documents and requiring much lesser space than physical document storage. That automatically helps the business save costs.
- Enhanced collaboration: DPA intelligently arms knowledge workers with the right information at the right time and in the specific context of that business. Enterprise content management systems help companies intelligently migrate and store the data they receive compliance-ready storage. This helps them do their job more effectively and respond quickly to the changing needs of the F&B business.
- Better customer interaction and experience: Digital process automation helps deliver a better customer experience by assisting employees to make informed and relevant recommendations at critical touchpoints. Customers need not waste their time interacting with multiple customer service agents; instead, a chatbot or toll-free number can ensure timely redressal of their issues.
DRS: Your preferred partner for digital process automation
DRS provides food companies with advanced technology solutions to manage business information that is critical to providing excellent customer service, completing a business transaction or complying with internal or regulatory compliance mandates.
Our project experts help you migrate legacy information from complex and closed legacy systems into structured databases that help you integrate with business applications like ERPs or procurement systems.
Talk to DRS Imaging to support and build your automated digital process environment.