(2 minute read)
There’s no question that the current pandemic has presented significant challenges for the food industry, yet within those challenges are opportunities to move forward stronger than before.
In the short term, the pandemic is driving new consumer behaviors and uncertainty that present immediate challenges for supply chains, manufacturing and demand management. Longer term, the accelerating pace of change in business and technology will continue to create even more disruption, faster than ever.
Challenges for Food Producers in the ‘New Normal’
Although most businesses had some type of digital transformation initiative in place before the pandemic, many found themselves unprepared to deal with rapid change. This fact became glaringly obvious in the current environment, shining a harsh light on processes and technology that need to be improved.
In the case of the food industry, the current situation is forcing manufacturers to deal with several challenges that can also become opportunities for future growth.
- Demand is outpacing the ability to deliver: increased demand and supply constraints are driving supply chain disruptions, but in dealing with those challenges, there is also an opportunity for food producers to become more agile in getting high-demand products to market sooner.
- Some traditional channels are locked down: as a consequence, food producers are looking for alternate channels, which requires them to rethink and restructure the supply chain. These activities will result in a stronger, more diverse channel strategy for the future.
- Consumers are trading down based on price vs. brand: consumer requirements are changing, and companies that fail to tap into those requirements with rapid innovation cycles are going to miss out. Innovation will be key to retaining brand loyalty and attracting new customers now and in the future.
- E-commerce is emerging for both B2B and B2C: having a robust e-commerce capability has become a necessity, both for B2B customers and for reaching out directly to consumers.
- Rapid forecasting and demand management: in the current environment, food producers will need to re-plan their forecasts repeatedly to keep pace with change. Having a robust analytics capability will be key to future planning.
The Path Forward Requires a New Approach
It’s no surprise that organizations that were further along the path toward digital transformation before the pandemic are adapting to the crisis better than their peers. The changes made to their business models and working processes allowed them to pivot more rapidly or accelerate changes already underway.
But taking on large-scale transformation projects no longer makes sense in the current climate of uncertainty, where no one can see far enough ahead to make long-term plans. Food producers need a new approach that will make their transformation efforts fast, flexible and forgiving.
This new approach is Digital Transformation as a Service (DTaaS). No matter what your business opportunities may be, itelligence has an approach that allows your business to capitalize on new opportunities without a massive capital investment, and with the ability to pivot and refocus as business conditions evolve.
- A dynamic technology roadmap to plot your course
- A flexible delivery model so you can pivot, as needed
- Subscription pricing – simple, easy, affordable
This new approach can help you break down barriers so your business can continue to grow – even in these uncertain times.
For more information about how consumer products companies can rethink their digital strategies, I encourage to download our e-book, Rethinking Digital Transformation for the Consumer Products – Food Industry.