Competition is rife in every industry. In order to keep up with competitors you have to be innovative and quick. Globally, the food industry is seeing more automation than ever; robots and high performance machinery are taking the lead. They are sculpting new paths for the food industry. However, some competitors seem to be lagging. Looking closer at Europe, countries such as France, Spain and Italy are blazing the way with robotic technology they have implemented. However, the United Kingdom appears to be taking its time to catch up.
How should the food industry promote efficiency?
There are ways to streamline work processes to make them more efficient. You do not need top of the line machinery just to get better results. Going through processes and deciding where automation is appropriate is one way to increase efficiency. For instance, in the UK it is common to see inventory stock being shifted from the shelves or production lines to pallets by hand. This is a prime example of one way their food industry can automate a process with their inventory stock.
There needs to be an overall shift in thinking. Manufacturing and warehouses should not be handling inventory stock the same way that they did 20 years ago. When your competition is implementing robotic measures, it’s time to catch up.
Investing in change
Making these shifts can be time consuming. When you are looking to make sweeping changes across an entire industry it will be a challenging and long process. The UK needs to address changes to their manufacturing processes and the fundamentals of their supply chain. If the UK fails to respond to this need, they will put themselves in a precarious situation against competition.
In order for this shift to take place, companies in the UK’s food industry need to bring the right employees on board. It is imperative to hire forward-thinking, highly qualified and passionate people. They will be the ones who drive the industry into the digital age of manufacturing.
There is an opportunity for this to be a very transformational time for the UK’s food industry. With a fresh outlook and drive to change, they have the potential to outpace competition. Leave behind the old technology and embrace change. The real assets will come in the form of new technology, equipment and employees that can instigate competitive initiatives.
The UK needs to look at what their competitors are doing, predict where the competition is and develop a plan to outperform them.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.