Infor, a global leader in business cloud software, is now seeing a spur in technology adoption across the food and beverage industry. This is even as the hotel and restaurant businesses in many countries have been hit quiet severely or shut down completely due to lockdown following the corona virus disease outbreak.
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The food industry continued to gain strength and we see it booming. During the early days of the pandemic driven lockdown, there was panic buying. People went out and hoarded on the essential goods making it challenging for the food manufacturers to keep up with the demand as some of them were running at about 60% above normal capacity in most countries. However there was also a visible change in buying patterns during the pandemic with people preferring essential food items over the premium items.
“A major transformation on the food and beverage industry landscape is the adoption of technology. Indian companies in this sector are no exception to this,” informed Andrew Dalziel, VP industry & solution strategy, Infor, while speaking to FnB News.
“The food and beverage sector by and large in India is now heavily investing in technology, and we believe they will be in a better shape over the next few years. Companies are realising the need to make some changes in their systems as the key drivers at present in the food industry are food safety, transparency in the supply chain. If companies do not have the right systems in place, all the way from recipes to what is in the product and to getting the system on the shelf and being able to trace back through that supply chain, then they will be at a disadvantage,” he added.
There is growth on the technology front going by the investments in product lifecycle management. The focus is on what ingredients go into making a final product. In exports too, Indian companies are adhering to the stringent requirements including labelling and details of food expiry.
“Through the distribution network, an important aspect is traceability, so that the restaurants are able to find out at what stage the contaminated ingredient entered the system to be able to contact the wholesalers and retailers to instruct them to remove the product from the shelves. Now companies can definitely minimise the risk and the impact of such problems in the supply chain, by adopting the right technology solutions,” noted Dalziel.
It is here that the company is focussing on its PLM solution for the food process industry, which is the cloud suite for F&B. The company said it is more than the ERP as it supports all critical business processes for food manufacturers. It also has asset management solutions for the management and maintenance of the plants. Further, there is analytics built into the solution and also allows supply chain optimisation.
“Currently, we are doing a lot of marketing in India. Infor conducted a webinar a few weeks ago on accelerating automation in F&B, engraining industry experts and customers. There was a good interest for this which suggests that there is an acceptance and recognition from the F&B market in India. There are clear signs that we do need to invest in India to offer advanced solutions,” said Dalziel.