F&B Food manufacturing companies (FMC) are a vertical that we see a constant stream of. Most often these are companies that manufacture food ingredients like curry powder, soy bean, noodles, sugar, and all kinds of good ingredients. These FMC are always at a dilemma on which is the best parts of their business to digitalize. Below I give you a quick snapshot of the common problems faced by these companies.
(1) Orders can come in from multiple channels. Typically, these companies will have a combination of B2C and B2B customers. The B2B customers will be the bulk of their clientele that make up their regular customers. The FMC will need to constantly spend effort to call up their regular B2B clients to see if their stock is running out, and if they will require a new delivery of ingredients. FMC are therefore always exploring ideas on how this physical reminding process can be optimized. Several ideas can be considered, from the automation of reminders to prompt customers, allowing customers to DIY orders via messages, or allowing customers to place orders via ecommerce stores.
(2) The FMC then needs to keep track of all the confirmed orders. These confirmed orders will need to be translated into Production requirements, such as What, When, How much ingredients to produce, for Who and be delivered to Where. These decisions can be made upon order confirmation, however, very often there may not be enough time to react, and FMCs will attempt to estimate what is required before hand to begin production in advance. This therefore leads to the idea of a Production Auto Scheduler that can take into account confirmed orders, but also analyse the data of past orders in order to estimate the What, When, How much, Who and Where before hand based on data.
(3) Everyday, the FMC will have to make deliveries to its various clients for the day. The FMC may have to manage a pool of drivers, and schedule them to deliver What, When, How much. Who and Where. But what would be the most optimal delivery route based on the delivery timing required? And which will be the most suited vehicle to be used based on the quantity? What is the minimum number of trips that can be made in order to complete all the deliveries on time? With this, FMCs can look at Aided Driver / Delivery Order Assignment systems to process all the factors and come to an optimized conclusion quickly.
(4) Last mile delivery tracking is a boom these days. On one hand, FMCs would want to make sure that the ingredients are delivered freshly and on time by their drivers. On the other hand, customers may want instant updates on the status of their deliveries. Delivery Tracking systems with mobile capabilities can therefore be developed.
(5) Inventory Management can be a pain for FMCs. Firstly, they have to keep track of the quantities of raw materials, which are then used to produce the various Ingredients. These ingredients then need to be packed into Packaging, which will then be delivered to customers. Very often this food manufacturing process is closely monitored to keep track of raw materials, ingredients and packaging for security as well as quality-control purposes. These Inventory Management Systems will often be tied to the Delivery Tracking System to ensure that the inventory produced and stored will tally with what is being delivered.
I hope that these examples have been able to give you some insights into how Food Manufacturing Companies can utilise the EDG Grant to develop technological capabilities. Are you an FMC that wishes to find out more about what we can do for you? Contact us today!