How Humans with Technology will Shape Future FMCG Supply Chains

We’re all linked to FMCG supply chains, be it through work, a customer relationship or simply driving demand through our own purchases. Our $131 billion food and grocery processing sector directly employs 324,450 people, which represents nearly 40% of Australian manufacturing jobs. It also provides the essentials and makes up a massive part of the FMCG supply chains we rely on to employ, feed, clothe and entertain us.

FMCG industries have rapidly evolved to meet consumer demands. ERP has also improved to enable FMCG manufacturers to streamline and efficiently manage their supply chain. The software has become more integrated, easier to use, it now has interchangeable modules, open architecture and cross-platform usability, which makes collecting and analyzing real-time data easier.

New Technologies are Game Changers

In an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report about the future of work, it states this era, where rapid digitalization causes disruption, new technologies become ‘game changers’. A large portion of adults will need to upskill or retrain to meet the needs of future jobs as automation replaces many less-skilled functions and, while new jobs will emerge, transitions may not be so easy.

With challenges come opportunities and this involves people that will develop new technologies and create new products, leading to new revenue streams. Digitalization will help those in FMCG to reduce costs without compromising the quality of their products. Not only that but it will also enable more effective management of complex operations – this is something that is occurring globally.

Machines Don’t Have the Creativity

People need to eat, and food and drinks will continually be developed to meet these needs. Added to this is Australia’s international reputation for being a source of safe and high-quality produce. There’s no shortage of trade partners wanting our valuable, locally grown commodities. To meet the supply and demand, we need people throughout the supply chain to oversee this process and ensure manufacturers are delivering to growing consumer demands – both domestic and globally. Machines don’t have the creativity and type of intellectual capacity required to develop new ideas and technologies, to interpret data from automated systems and ensure they’re continuing to allow better efficiencies for manufacturers. Humans are needed to fill these roles. The changing landscape of data-creating software requires people to make meaningful use of that data, whether they are an accountant, in HR, a compliance officer or even a mechanic.

Automation Provides Relationship-building Opportunities

The adoption of automation within the supply chain also allows manufacturers to spend more time on the business than in the business. It provides opportunities for building stronger relationships with suppliers and customers so that the company can continue to grow. A growing business needs a growing workforce to sustain customer satisfaction.

ERP Throughout this process, ERP functions as a shadow following the business journey. It is closely aligned to accurately track processes in real-time, enabling companies to respond to market conditions faster, allow for better traceability, which not only results in better customer service but helps manufacturers gain a competitive advantage through better systems.

Automated workflows are changing the way we work but history has shown how technology has helped us and created new offshoots and opportunities for the FMCG industry. The continuous loop that is based on catering to changing consumer habits means the future of work must stay ahead of such changing consumer trends, but this can only take place through technology. People will always remain at the core of this and there will always be new opportunities and jobs which will help the FMCG supply chains change in a positive way.

Tomorrow’s factories will be smarter, connected, and flexible  

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To create a sustainable future, ANZ food and beverages manufacturers and distributors must embrace the increasingly technologically data-driven business model to capitalize on the opportunities of Industry 4.0.

The time to prepare and build is now.

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