In a rapidly shifting market, you may be wondering: what’s the best way to future-proof my food manufacturing process? We know that keeping up with current consumer demands, sustainability requirements, and production technologies can be an overwhelming task. Luckily, future-proofing your manufacturing business doesn’t need to be stressful!
Future-proofing starts with an open and curious attitude towards development, innovation, and ever-changing customer demands. Here are our top tips on how to prepare your manufacturing business for a successful future.
#1 Prioritize Flexibility
If we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that no one can predict the future with 100% certainty. With that in mind, don’t worry too much about choosing the “right” equipment, and remember that being flexible will ultimately set you up for success. Keep your facility as updated as possible, while still prioritizing your ability to adapt.
To prioritize flexibility, we recommend selecting equipment that’s well-made and efficient. Opt for appliances that are easy to move (e.g. on caster wheels) and relatively lightweight. Integrate an expansion plan into the blueprint of your facility and budget extra space for additional equipment. According to FoodManufacturing.com, “New equipment is likely to have different dimensions, and you might need to integrate it alongside existing equipment. If possible, consider designing extra space in the facility or acquire adjacent land for expansion.”
#2 Embrace Digitalization
In 2022, most industries have adopted a remote work model into their day-to-day operations. Food manufacturing is no exception! Stay on top of future manufacturing trends by embracing cloud-based programs to help you organize, manage, and run your business. Cloud-based ERPs give you access to important information about operations anytime, anywhere. Plus, with these new systems it’s simple to consolidate your data into one program, so you can keep track of everything on one platform.
#3 Pay Attention to Consumer Trends
While some commodities will always be in demand, others are gaining more traction with customers. For example, in 2022 plant-based options are increasingly popular with customers searching for more sustainable, healthy snack alternatives.
According to FoodManufacturing.com, this means that “new ingredients frequently enter this space, such as oat-based milk, and new product formats frequently launch, such as plant-based pepperoni.” In order to accommodate an influx of new products, brands need to be ready to meet new demands like “ingredients, packaging formats, and processing methods that are required to produce new flavor lines, pack sizes, and claims that address environmental or social concerns.”
#4 Prioritize Health and Safety
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important than ever to prioritize health and safety for your workers. Ensure facilities are well ventilated and are kept at a comfortable (and safe) temperature for workers and food alike. Add handwashing stations and update your break room so employees feel like they have a place to relax in between shifts.
In terms of manufacturing practices, more brands are prioritizing the end-to-end traceability of their products. Cloud-based ERPs are able to track ingredients through every step of the process, so it’s easy to identify and rectify any potential lapses in quality with immediate effect.
#5 Focus on Sustainability
With increasing anxiety about climate change fueling consumer choices, brands need to demonstrate their commitment towards a more sustainable future. Customers are looking to brands to utilize more efficient manufacturing processes, minimize waste, and source sustainable ingredients when manufacturing their products.
Sustainability doesn’t need to break the bank. Start with simple changes like inspecting your existing equipment to ensure nothing is leaking or utilizing excess ingredients. Utilize digital temperature control systems to save on energy whenever possible. Further down the line, start updating equipment to include more high-efficiency appliances and machines.
The Future is Bright with Quantum
At Quantum, we’re dedicated to helping our customers improve their food manufacturing facilities. From bakery equipment, to conveyors, to slicers and sauce applicators, we offer state-of-the-art appliances custom made to fit into your facility. We pride ourselves on our meticulously crafted equipment, designed with your safety in mind. Our in-house manufacturing allows us to offer our customers shorter lead times, coupled with first-rate quality control. With Quantum, every customer knows they have the best in quality and consistency, tailor-made to fit their needs. Contact us today to set up your consultation!