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2022 Supply Chain Predictions for the Food and Beverage Industry

The global supply chain has seen a rapid change these past two years since the Coronavirus pandemic began. No matter what niche your business serves, It’s likely that you rely on key elements and products from a variety of suppliers. You may even still be feeling the effects of these bottlenecks on your bottom line.

While the past two years have been rough waters for food and beverage companies, we predict some relief in 2022 and a return to normalcy in many different parts of the supply chain. Continue reading to discover our five predictions for the food and beverage industry in 2022.

1.   Automation will begin to streamline processes

Automation has not had a significant impact on the food and beverage industry yet, as many current operations use outdated methods like manual inventory counts and product restocking. However, this will change in 2022, and we are seeing more warehouse managers and company leaders invest in automation technology. These technologies use artificial intelligence (AI) to handle complex tasks like self-driving trucks and workflow analysis.

Workers need not worry about job security, as these technologies aim to complement the existing workforce duties and do not aim to take away jobs from the current workforce.

2.   Greater emphasis on security

It’s no surprise that data breaches and security failures are on the rise with the increasing number of workers migrating to a remote work environment. These data breaches are costing businesses billions of dollars, and limiting the damage of these security issues is a top priority for many businesses.

Cybercrime is taking a new form, and criminals are starting to get smarter with their methods of operation. In the past, these criminals only targeted large companies with massive amounts of data, but smaller businesses are targets just as frequently so far this year. We can expect businesses of any size to strongly emphasize data security in 2022 and beyond, including in the food and beverage industries.

3.   Employee retention efforts will increase

Food and beverage companies now see how valuable their employees are, and why retaining them is vital to their business. Employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers, but we expect this trend to slow down in 2022 as more expansive benefits programs and incentive policies are created. Fewer employees mean fewer people available to harvest and maintain many of the food and beverage products that producers manufacture. It also means less drivers on the roads for necessary transportation and distribution tasks.

4.   Increased Government involvement

While many Americans blame the government for the current supply chain problems, the government will play a key role in improving the supply chain. Many different efforts are already being put into place by the USDA, such as a $4 billion investment in the food and beverage supply chain in 2021 and an additional $215 million earlier this year.

Improving the supply chain cannot be done without the help of the government and the USDA. We can expect to continue to see efforts by the government to get involved and make the supply chain more robust and resilient.

5.   Transportation and driver shortages will increase

The turnover rate of truck drivers has reached record highs, and finding enough drivers is becoming a significant issue for food and beverage suppliers. Since the pandemic started, the growth in online commerce is also contributing to the shortage, increasing the demand for transportation services to deliver products around the world.

Companies that use real-time data and proactive planning can minimize the impact of transportation issues, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution that matches the dynamic nature of ht problem. We can also expect to see an increase in the investment in self-driving trucks and automated transportation in 2022.

6.   Increased spending on supply chain technology

We had to add in a bonus prediction. Companies that have the resources to spend will continue to do so on supply chain technologies. The benefit of this technology includes improving operational efficiency and reducing costs due to lost inventory and poor planning.

Many companies are now turning to ERP software like Inecta for a more secure way to oversee supply chain operations in the food and beverage industry. The ability to access critical data in real-time on any device is becoming imperative, and companies that adopt these new technologies will be the ones that can survive the difficulties that are being experienced with the supply chain.

Embracing technology in the food and beverage industry will be critical in determining which companies will thrive in 2022 and which ones are left in the dust. Companies that decide to invest their resources into technological improvement will reap the benefits and improve their operations.

The past two years have given us the knowledge and experience we need to understand the challenges we face in the supply chain. With increased government involvement and maintaining a skilled workforce, we can navigate 2022 with confidence.

 

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