The goal of food and beverage manufacturing management is to enhance quality and improve turnover speed while keeping costs low — all with the added challenge of having to do this in a landscape that’s constantly changing at a rapid pace. This can be done with a tactical strategy that can refine every aspect of a manufacturing plant’s operational efficiency. In order to keep up with the swift developments of modern-day food and drink production processes, these are the best practices to implement in your operations.
Take advantage of automation
Most manufacturers have already automated and integrated most of their systems. If you haven’t done it yet and are still operating everything manually, then switching to a fully automated and integrated structure is ideal. All areas — from administrative duties to packaging — will benefit from this set-up. Basic operations such as preservation and packaging can be done in high volumes by using machines such as a blast freezer and a high-quality single head piston filler, thus streamlining and accelerating these processes. Meanwhile, integrating all platforms allows leadership, workers, and stakeholders to easily connect to one system, which ensures that information is easily accessible across different platforms and everyone is kept up-to-date.
Assess and improve current processes
Conduct a comprehensive survey of all your current manufacturing processes. Make sure to check if there are any existing methods and procedures that are ineffectual, as well as time-consuming and labor-intensive. These functions should either be eliminated entirely if they’re particularly inessential or they can be automated or optimized to be less complicated and demanding.
Establish key performance indicators
All manufacturers need to establish metrics that they can use to measure performance. These are more formally known as key performance indicators. Although this term is commonly associated with financial goals, it can also be used to measure the efficiency and performance of certain manufacturing processes. Instituting these performance metrics and regularly tracking progress helps keep all units within a manufacturing plant accountable, as well as reveals any areas of improvement.
Prioritize food safety
Food recalls, food poisoning, mass disease outbreaks, and pests are some of the most common food safety challenges that food and drink manufacturers face in this day and age. Now more than ever, it’s necessary to maintain a secure, transparent, and hygienic supply chain. All individuals at the manufacturing plant must be properly monitored and supervised to ensure that they strictly adhere to a set of stringent guidelines and standards when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of all food and drink products. Furthermore, you may want to schedule a formal auditing process to be done regularly in order to verify whether everyone is upholding and enforcing proper food safety practices.
It’s incredibly difficult to stand out in the sea of products that flood the food and drink market every day. One way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to diversify partnerships to leverage your brand’s reach with that of another relevant firm. A few examples of successful unlikely food partnerships include GoPro and their co-branding campaign with Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Red Cross, Starbucks and Spotify, and Beyond Meat and Tim Hortons. This is an opportunity to branch out and take creative risks that will pay off in the long run.
Emphasize sustainability and green practices
More and more customers are making the shift towards patronizing products from sustainable and green food and drink companies. Shifting to more ethical and sustainable food and drink production processes as well as packaging processes has been proven to positively impact a manufacturing business’s bottom line. So, it may be worth it to invest in green technology and make the switch or introduce more ethical methods of food sourcing.
Optimize delivery methods
One of the biggest changes to the food and drink industry in the last several years is the proliferation of meal delivery services and online food ordering and delivery platforms. In order to thrive in this new landscape, it’s crucial to find ways to tap into this emerging market by offering your products on these platforms or working in conjunction with the food and drink establishments found on them. For example, you could partner with a meal delivery kit service and act as their wholesale ingredient supplier.
Ensure proper documentation
Minimize processing errors and maintain the utmost consistency by making sure that you have proper documentation of all guidelines, protocols, and procedures for everyone’s reference. This allows everyone to act in accordance with a set of standards, and to maximize their performance. Some things that should be well-documented include: job duties, shifts, flowcharts, institutional frameworks, shifts, and daily task checklists.
Secure your food and drink manufacturing business’ success by committing these best practices to memory and making sure you enforce them well in your operations.