Technological advancements and process enhancements adopted by leading companies clearly point out that food supply chain innovation is widely accepted as an aspect of the overall business strategy. After all, customer satisfaction is not just the business of management, but the business of all. Food supply logistics − facilities and information allowing food items to be transported − are now considered the pivotal drivers of the global economy.
When sources diversify and consumer demands grow towards accountability and wholeness, at every point in the food supply chain, technology will play an ever-increasing role. Some traditional processes are going to collapse, while others are going to expand around the globe in non-linear networks.
Developing countries are witnessing a shift to service jobs in the labor force. This leads to higher labor costs, leading to higher food prices. Companies need to adapt quickly to change to maintain a competitive edge. Exporters must recognize new routes and partners, and also deliver products with minimal spoilage at affordable prices. Every day, a new technology is being utilized by companies to deliver food in a safe, efficient, and reliable manner.
Here we highlight how food supply is transformed by technology.
Companies are adopting various automation-based technologies to meet food supply demands for sustainable development. In fact, there is a growing trace ability technology market that makes food sourcing more accessible to consumers. Simultaneously, greater emphasis are being laid on near-the-field processing, chilling, and freezing to positively impact on food transport cost, refrigeration, and energy.
It is worth to be noted that the global food safety testing market reached $10.5 billion in 2014, and this is expected to grow 5.3% annually through 2019.
Information technology helps in bringing food cost down and meeting expectations of customer. How? Products that are more functional and homogeneous with stable demand can benefit from quality-assurance control systems, automated ordering processes, and delivery scheduling. On the other hand, for novel products with an unpredictable demand, companies opt for monitoring technologies like scanner data collection at point-of-sale terminals to help analyze and forecast consumer trends. Portable scanners with software can also help monitor and track product in an inventory control system for better cost effectiveness.
Today, there are several sensors available to help generate productivity data, for-see maintenance needs, improve inventory management and quality control, and also streamline production processes. These tools can help scale the industry by making it easier for meeting the growing demands for more sustainable produced food.
With improved testing, RFID, GPS, data logging, and smart sensing labels, companies can track and control temperatures, on-time arrivals, adulteration, and safety.
In the plant, sensitive automation allows machinery to take over heavier or riskier tasks, eliminating the need of humans and having them from potential harm.
Thanks to online grocery shopping and wearable technology services, there has been a massive change in how food is delivered to consumers. Smartphone applications allow customers to trace every ingredient in a packaged product. So brands can connect more directly with consumers and also supply information that helps build trust and ensure customer loyalty.