The food and drink industry is full of manufacturing challenges, from complying with regulations to competing with giant corporations. In this post, we’ll touch on these challenges and how your business can remain competitive and effective in today’s marketplace.
How to solve these 8 common drink manufacturing challenges
Complying with beverage standards and regulations
To kick things off, let’s look at the standards and regulations facing the food and drink industry. In the UK, the labelling of spirits can be a complicated task. And you might not be sure whether your product is eligible for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.
The last thing any business needs is to be surprised by regulations and standards. To ensure you’re always on the right side of these regulations, your business (better yet, a specific team) should regularly review any rules affecting your products.
This is the best way to ensure that you don’t run into problems with compliance. These issues can be costly for your business, so don’t overlook them!
Managing product recalls
Recalls are something your business never wants to face, but eventually, you may find yourself having to initiate a product recall.
There are two problems to overcome when this happens. First you need to spread the news that your business is issuing a product recall. Handle this carefully and tactfully to keep your reputation intact.
Then, you need to focus on managing the product recall. Here, a robust inventory management system can be a huge help. Additionally, you can get ahead of these issues by being in touch with your supply chain as much as possible. This can help you anticipate and prevent issues that lead to product recalls.
Keeping up with changing consumer trends
Keeping watch over trends is nothing new to the food and drink industry, but when it comes to today’s world, those trends move faster than ever.
For instance, non-alcoholic versions of drinks like beer, gin, and wine are taking off right now. In a few months, however, this trend might burn out in favour of the newest fad.
As a manufacturer, it’s up to you to spot and quickly respond to these trends. You want to be sure that you have product offerings that will keep customers around, bring in new customers, and keep you in line with or ahead of the competition.
Keep an eye on industry news and reach out to your industry contacts to see what they’ve been hearing and seeing. That, combined with careful forecasting, can help you keep up with changing trends.
Having visibility in your supply chain
One of the major drink manufacturing challenges that businesses face is supply chain visibility. But it’s not just a major challenge — it’s a vital part of your success. Keeping up with supply chain disruptions and changes requires a lot of investment, which needs to be maintained.
Fortunately, new technology is making it easier than ever to keep watch over your supply chain. Most of what you need to watch can be found in your KPIs. These will help you anticipate your needs, forecast disruptions, and determine how best to adapt to an unexpected situation.
Adapt to rising labour costs
Across industries, labour costs are increasing. And this increase presents a challenge that some manufacturers might not have faced in a long time: knowing how to adapt to these rising costs.
Generally, the best way to cope with these increasing costs is to ensure you’re getting the most value from your workers. A great way to do this is to provide training, plenty of incentives, and analyse how your machinery is performing.
Increasing transparency with consumers
Consumers these days are demanding increased transparency from all the brands they patronise. Consumers want to know what is going into their drinks, what the ingredients do, and where they come from.
This is a challenge where the solution is simple. Work on simplifying your ingredients, and ensure that information about your supply chain is readily available on the packaging and website.
How to approach allergen management
Unlike some of the other challenges on this list, allergen management is much less of a recent trend and more so a long-term battle.
Managing allergens effectively is critical, as it can be life and death for your customers. Working to increase your transparency can help, but it’s just as important that you know where your ingredients are coming from. That means increasing your supply chain visibility and tracking through software and communication.
Keeping track of food waste
It’s up to businesses in the food and drink industry to keep track of their food waste. Tonnes of food are lost to waste every year, which is terrible for the planet and your wallet.
Work to source and process ingredients more effectively to reduce your business’s food waste. Develop standards that keep waste to a minimum and proactively train your workers to look for ways to keep waste to a minimum.
Tackle drink manufacturing challenges head-on with Workhorse
Although manufacturers face several challenges, you aren’t left to fight them alone. You can better track your ingredients, products, and supply chain by choosing a cutting-edge inventory management system. That’s exactly what we do at Workhorse. Our configurable system can help you keep track of everything you need to tackle challenges head-on.
Reach out for a demo today to learn how Workhorse can help you create a holistic view of your drinks supply chain, inventory, and orders.