Data Drives Agile Manufacturing in the Food Industry

How manufacturers can shift with changing consumer tastes

In a changing world, food and beverage manufacturers have to be able to respond to shifting consumer tastes at the speed of light. Taking a page from the automotive industry, businesses in the sector are turning to agile manufacturing principles and digital technology to meet the challenge.

Agile Manufacturing

In an article in Food Processing, Suzanne Gill reports that consumers are demanding more novel food and beverage choices. Manufacturers are turning to digital technology to increase the flexibility of production lines to increase the speed to market for new products:

 “Great though all this choice is for the consumer, it often represents a challenge to the traditional business model which is built on high volume, mass production. If you want to survive then you need to differentiate, and do something different,” said Steve Arnold, business manager Food & Packaging at SMC.

New technologies are emerging to help businesses meet the need for more flexible, agile, smart manufacturing. Data appears to be the key – first collecting it and then being able to interpret it – to allow businesses to make more informed decisions.

Design Thinking and Data Analysis 

Food and beverage manufacturers can leverage Big Data analysis plus agile methodology and a design thinking approach to both track and act upon consumer desires. By collecting and analyzing consumer data, from favorite dishes to ingredient preferences to foods gaining interest on social media, manufacturers can distill the insight needed to craft the novel taste profiles needed for new products.

Food and beverage businesses don’t have to work on their own when trying to create the infrastructure needed to drive agile manufacturing initiatives. The LMS team can design and implement the digital systems needed to collect and analyze the massive amounts of consumer data required to drive innovation. Call us today at 800-257-5902 so we can help.

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