Flexibility and efficiency in the beverage industry
Never before has there been such a variety of different types of drinks than there is today. While this development is great news for the beverage industry as a whole, it does present some challenges for efficiency, especially for production facilities, warehouses and distribution centres.
To put it mildly - things have changed since Henry Ford uttered those famous words. Nowadays, consumers expect to receive products in a wide range of designs, not just the one chosen by the manufacturer. This trend can even be seen in the food and beverage industry. Never before has there been such a variety of different types of beverages. Consumers are experimenting with new flavours and ingredients, even completely new categories of drinks. And as the big players are slow to respond to these changing demands, smaller, more agile producers are emerging to fill the gaps. While this development is great news for the beverage industry as a whole, it does present some challenges.
The problem of efficiency when handling larger numbers of
Handling the growing number of new products, designs and packaging sizes requires manufacturers to be very flexible and agile. This means that manufacturing plants and logistics centres need to be able to adapt quickly to new requirements and new products, a wide range of ever-changing operational and practical constraints - and so do their employees. In addition, the manual handling associated with the production, storage and dispatch of all these products brings with it a list of health and safety risks that can threaten both employees and profitability.
However, consumer and market demands are only a small part of the challenges facing the beverage industry. There are also regulatory and legal standards and requirements to meet, safety procedures to follow, and a long list of human resource and personnel issues. Failure to meet any of these requirements can have disastrous consequences for your business.
As if that weren't enough...
Consumer preferences are always changing, but the pandemic caused changes in buying habits that most industries were not prepared for. Manufacturers had to find ways to increase production in the midst of a global crisis that affected the availability of labour and raw materials, as well as the logistics chains that supplied factories and products. The end result was an inability to accurately predict consumer trends or to accurately manage the production needed to meet them. Food and drink manufacturers were forced to adapt quickly or risk going out of business.