As more and more processes continue to become digitized, different industries are transitioning into different aspects of atomization. The food industry has made its way up in the list of opportunity gaining contenders of the digital revolution. Food processors, suppliers as well as retailers are all continuing to operationally and monetarily benefit from new opportunities as investment in data solutions continues to peak.
One of the biggest advances to come from these processes of digitization is the significantly increased operational efficiency for food companies. Through using digital analysis platform technology, there is enhanced visibility into the entire supply chain. This technology allows for real-time inventory tracking, predicting maintenance requirements and data collection on equipment performances, all of which contribute to identifying any problems or inefficiencies along the supply chain and creating a space to provide real-time solutions.
Adopting track and trace technology into the food supply chain is being touted as one of the most efficient solutions to global food loss and carbon emissions caused by the industry. The implementation of sensor technology to monitor and track temperatures throughout the supply chain and each food product’s journey is key to increasing food safety and ensuring a significant reduction in retail shrink.
Track and trace solutions can help reduce food waste and optimize operations. These solutions will allow users to obtain critical produce related information at every step of the farm to table journey, reducing food waste arising from unmonitored problems which may have occurred along the way. Properly implemented solutions will lead to a reduction in unnecessary trips to warehouses, less electricity consumed by coolers, and prolonged shelf lives through obtaining produce at optimal freshness at the store, restaurant and consumer level.
Another big benefit of recently adopted technological processes in the global food industry has been the improved level of food safety. The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 became a game changer for the global food industry by enforcing a law that advocates for food safety within the many complexities of the global supply chain. Food Standards Australia New Zealand also compromises of a similar set of regulations “reduce foodborne illness by strengthening food safety and traceability throughout the food supply chain, from paddock to plate” this organization develops and reviews food standards.
By implementing tracking sensors that enable monitoring real-time temperature, food companies are able to consistently monitor any safety measures, and ensure efficient cold chain management. This technology enables entire supply chains to comply with domestic and international food safety regulations by creating access to important data that can enable real-time food safety solutions.
Over the last decade or so the word ‘transparency’ has taken on a new meaning when it comes to consumer behavior in the food industry. For most food companies, being able to provide transparency and visibility into the entire journey of a particular food item is proving to be an integral aspect of sales. The adoption of these technologies enables transparency along the entire supply chain. Track and trace technologies provide companies as well as customers the option to track items even along the global supply chain, invariably creating more consumer trust. Among other benefits are saved costs, faster lead times and more efficient inventory management.
As the Internet of Things continues to be the foundation of much change, it has certainly created much broader horizons for the food industry when it comes to more efficient processes in the supply chain, being better equipped to comply with food safety regulations and furthering consumer loyalty and trust by providing transparency.