Why digital transformation matters to food processors and packhouses

Though digital technologies are still young, they are already improving operational efficiencies and have the power to help improve profitability in other ways too, as explained by Felix Flemming, head of digital at TOMRA Food and Recycling

Some food processors and packhouses might think that “digital transformation” has nothing to do with them, but in reality, things are swiftly changing. In fact, digital transformation is already taking place in processing and packing and delivering competitive advantages.

But what, exactly, is digital transformation? Why is it a mistake to ignore it? And how can it improve day-to-day operational efficiencies and higher-level decision-making?

A journey to greater rewards  

When we talk of digital transformation, we mean the process of using digital technologies to change the way business is done. And when we speak of digital technologies, we mean electronic tools or automated systems that generate store, and process data. These technologies are developing so quickly that a second wave of digital transformation is currently sweeping through industries, bringing robotics, big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

These technologies are transformational because they can change business processes, business agility, customer relationships, and — most importantly — production efficiency.

There is more to digital transformation, however, than technology. It is also a cultural change. A mindset. A willingness by businesses to recognise that they could be doing some things better and open-mindedness to digital technologies to enable the targeted improvements.  

It is also important to understand that digital transformation is a journey. As technologies and solutions are constantly evolving, progress never ceases. Many digital solutions, for example, will periodically benefit from software updates. This means that digital transformation continually helps businesses futureproof themselves.

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