Many industries are embracing technology to help keep their business alive and thriving during the pandemic. With travel bans, shelter-in-place requirements, and a recent surge of outbreaks, many companies are using this time to re-invent themselves. The food industry is no exception.
The Food Industry Embraces Digital Technology
There have been quite a few technological advances prior to the pandemic. These technologies were moving gradually into adoption in the food industry. Now, it is the only option. Many Food & Beverage equipment manufacturers are increasing their use of digital technology just to keep their business moving forward.
One of the easy ways to embrace technology for all companies regardless of industry has been the use of video and web conferencing. In person meetings and collaboration have been replaced by virtual meetings.
Installation, Testing, and Service
Installation, testing, and service calls for food service equipment has largely been an “in-person” activity. With restricted travel and shelter-in-place directives, an alternative means of deploying new conveying, automation, and other critical food service components needed to be developed.
Using digital technology was the answer. Webcams with high definition video and optical zoom deployed at the customer site became the “eyes” for the technicians to assist with installation and testing. Service calls are now done remotely using similar digital setups, augmented reality headsets, and web conferencing technologies.
The desire to make these adjustments work from both the equipment manufacturers and the food industries customers have made the transition successful. Not only have these remote services been a success, but the entire session is recorded. Integrated project management software stores a media library of images and video recordings for future reference. Open items are managed through a To-Do list, bringing together all the resources and participants. The benefits have been tremendous.
Other new introductions of technology in the food industry include virtual showrooms and remote lab testing.
The virtual showrooms allow equipment manufacturers to demonstrate new food industry equipment while safely adhering to travel bans and remote working environments. Not only are these demonstrations useful for selling new equipment, new models, and enhancements but they also set the stage for remote training.
Even lab work has been enhanced to work remotely. New product introduction would typically involve an in-person visit to a lab where a new food or drink recipe would be mixed and tested. Now, ingredients are shipped, and the lab time is handled via video conference.
The Future of Technology and Food
At Interra International, your global food trader and business partner, we are hard at work to deliver value and reduce the overall cost of supply in the face of the pandemic. For many, it is unclear how these changes will affect the food industry once the COVID-19 situation is under control. We will likely see many of these remote installations, service calls, and technology advances become mainstream. They have reduced travel costs, eliminated delays, and been invaluable in documenting project tasks and requirements.
While we all miss the human interaction, there is a great value to the virtual capabilities and remote work environments. Less time is spent traveling, stuck in traffic, finding parking, and all the other logistics surrounding in-person meetings.
We continue to monitor and improve upon all the systems that deliver value to your food-based business.
We encourage you to seek out our knowledgeable professionals, leverage our buying power, and see our full product portfolio.
We are here for you (remotely). Simply call our professional staff anytime for more information or assistance with food trade needs or concerns.
Interra is a specialty food distributor focusing on Proteins, and Commodities products. We can help you find the right source at the right price! – Call today for more information +1 770-612-8101, or fill out our contact us form!
George, Mary. “Equipment Manufacturers Get Creative with Digital Technologies”, Food Industry Executive, 24 June 2020, https://foodindustryexecutive.com/2020/06/equipment-manufacturers-get-creative-with-digital-technologies/