Food manufacturing and  Digital influences

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2016 heralds the era of digital influence in manufacturing, with business practices, values and customer offerings needing to become more flexible to enable the manufacturing industry to adapt.

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It is predicted that the compound annual growth rate for online food retailers in 2016 will be 11 per cent. Compared with 3.4 per cent for bricks and mortar, it is obvious why the digital sector is extremely important.

Banking and financial services company Rabobank feels that the industry is not prepared for this digital revolution and is missing out on increasing sales of food and drink online.


2016 will see manufacturers embracing technologies that will bring processes together more than ever before. Internal and external associates and partners will be connected by events, actions and working processes, combining standards to suit the needs of global and regional customer requirements.

Key information such as market and customer requirements, product usage and capabilities will be scrutinised and shared quickly across the enterprise, ensuring all areas can collaborate as a whole.

Customer demands

A better understanding of customer requirements will enable manufacturers to acquire customised capabilities to provide differing business practices and products for consumers and business customers. New processes may require new equipment; therefore, a knowledge of auctioneers and brokers where businesses can find food machinery for sale – will help the enterprise to respond to customer demand. Businesses could look at getting a new vacuum conveyor for transporting their food and drink products safely around the factory with limited handling using a pressurised system sourced from sites such as


A deeper understanding of standalone and unique capabilities that can be brought by the business and its partners will be required. Manufacturers’ reliance on suppliers providing top levels of service will be increased and the need for greater information surrounding product and service innovations will provide supply chain flexibility and innovations to service.

Combating counterfeiting

Studies have shown that a shocking $1.8tn (£1.25tn) in manufacturers’ annual revenue is lost to counterfeiting, with this figure increasing by 15 per cent annually.

Protecting physical and intellectual property will become a principle action in 2016 as manufacturers become better connected with their partners digitally. Successful collaboration requires the sharing of key information, with manufacturers needing to take extra steps to track data to combat piracy and theft.


Huge opportunities and changes are set for 2016 and manufacturers will need to be quick to embrace digital practices to survive.

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