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How Food Manufacturers Survived the Pandemic

The past year and change have taken quite a toll on the food manufacturing space. As the COVID-19 pandemic abates, we take stock of what food manufacturers were able to accomplish throughout 2020 and even now well into 2021. Supply chains were adversely affected by the restrictions imposed by the virus, and food manufacturers were forced to develop elaborate, and at times difficult workflows in order to deliver their products to their respective customers. No small feat indeed, as the pandemic has made the most rudimentary elements of food manufacturing unbelievably difficult, calling on strong-minded CEOs, CFOs and COOs to work around these obstacles.

Never before in modern history have supply-chains been so deeply disrupted for so long. Companies have had to brainstorm in order to cleverly maneuver through the mess the pandemic has presented. It is by sheer resilience and will-power that some food manufacturers have even blossomed during these wildly uncertain times and truly turned lemons into lemonade (and in some cases literally). Companies were able to shift sales and distribution channels, which successfully replaced lost revenues from foodservice halts or pauses. In doing so, companies quickly adapted by learning how to change production for the purpose of retail sales. The packaging and labelling mandates for retail sales vastly differ from purely online sales. This pandemic has shown the overwhelming benefits of food manufacturers diving headfirst into the omnichannel of online commerce. Online grocery shopping experienced a staggering boom throughout the pandemic and was especially prominent during those few first months of Spring 2020 when much of the U.S. and the globe was on lock down. This demand for online groceries has put companies into overdrive trying to modernize their supply chains to adequately serve their customers. This has been difficult for some food manufacturers, and easier for others depending on their resource allocation management and bandwidth.

Another major obstacle that food manufacturers have had to hurdle throughout the pandemic is the tightening on supply chain visibility. Now more than ever, transparency into each company’s supply chain has been essential for ensuring the safety of their products. In a time in which everyone is hyper aware of contributing health factors, food manufacturers have done their best to guarantee that their supply chains are strictly adhering to FDA mandates, with new stricter proposals on the horizon. The newly proposed Food Safety Modernization Act will require documentation with specific data elements and tracking info for a predetermined list of food products announced by the FDA. The FDA is insisting companies fall in line with these standards to promote unified standards and a communal effort to improve food safety across the board.

Indeed, these past 14 months have been considerably strenuous for food manufacturers. Despite this, businesses have stepped up to the plate and delivered their products to their respective consumers. During a time of great uncertainty and fear, food manufacturers were able to adapt to newly imposed restrictions and do what they do best: manufacturing the food we, the public, count on for daily survival. In part, thanks to stellar Food ERP solutions, food manufacturers have weathered the storm, and have come out on the other side stronger than ever. iNECTA Food is proud to serve many of these food manufacturers and will continue to support them with cutting-edge Food ERP software capable of handling the load. No matter what the obstacle, iNECTA Food ERP is in your corner, ready to soften the burden of COVID-19 by employing software that can fully secure food manufacturers’ supply chains.

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