Artificial Intelligence & The Competitive Edge in Food and Beverage

The Food and Beverage Industry has been at the forefront of the technology adoption curve for many years, from more advanced robotics on the manufacturing line to 3D printed alternatives to meat, innovation is embedded in the industry. With the growth of consumer interest around nutrition, environmental, social and corporate governance and overall food safety has growing significantly in the past 15 years, companies have been focused on delivering products to increasingly demanding consumers with transparency into their products as well as their operations.

The answer for corporations has often resulted in increased in implementation of technology but with new technology comes new food and beverage options, changes in how products are manufactured and produced, increased competition and even more questions…

Innova Identifies Top 10 Food and Beverage Trends to Accelerate Innovation in 2021

While the food and beverage industry’s top concern has been and continues to be pleasing the consumer and their ever-changing needs, the questions remain:

‘how can they remain competitive in this saturated fast paced industry?’

‘will consumers be willing to try products that are produced with the assistance of technology?’

‘how can we achieve the high industry standards and remain profitable?’

‘how can we make high quality food and beverages accessible to all communities?’


As illustrated by the graphic below, implementation and application of digital infrastructure is “extremely important” to food and beverage executives. Over 40% of respondents reported that Artificial Intelligence and IOT are extremely important, a bit less than ERP or mobile technologies but this could be due to perceived complications in AI adoption. The executives also shared that their top concerns were inventory management, food safety and manufacturing process/ assembly, each of which can be addressed through the application of Artificial Intelligence.

TOP tech with food and beverage 
Type and process 
According to the RSM Digital Transfcymation Survey for the food and beverage industry. 
middle market executives indicated a focus on digital has become an even higher priority 
than cuer befcye. What's hnpcvtant to them in terms Of digital type and how do these 
technologies help their business processes? 
The top five digital applications or technologies 
ranked "extremely important" include: 
_4é_Å_, 
I top? 
Artificial intelligence (43%) 
Mobile technologies (48%) 
5 
Internet Of 
Supply chain tracking and monitoring (40%) 
Executives also ranked "to a great extent" the ways 
digital addressed these business processes: 
40% 
Inventory management 
40% 
Food safety 
Manufacturing process/assembly 
Customer service center 
33% 
32% 
Supply chain/production control 
Warehouse management 
Harnessing the power of deitalcan be cornplex and requies cyganizatimal change mulagernent and 
expertise to create a vision and process custcm to the needs Of the enterprise. An outskie perspective 
may be need ed to help evaluate and consideratims. Engage cmsultants who have deep 
industry experience to ensure you're getting the best digital strategy gudance. 
Conta us to the the nvaCt Of dist* truwfcxrnatk:n Learn 
map with st growth effcrts 
THE POWER OF BEING UNDERSTOOD 
AUDIT TAX CONSULTING 
RSM
Source: RSM

“Complications of AI adoption aside, one fact is clear: F&B companies must invest in new innovations to cut costs, grow revenue, and stay current with consumer trends.

CIO Pride

The mainstream media has focused its coverage on the most innovative science and technology in the industry but the real benefit is derived from the operational application of Artificial Intelligence. Maestro Artificial Intelligence allows corporations to focus on internal innovation while optimizing the value chain and providing significant benefit with unmatched speed to value. In one example, Maestro AI allows plants the opportunity to reduce waste, thus furthering Net-Zero goals, while also increasing production uptime and yield to get products on the shelves.

This level of digital technology has never been more important to F&B as they are constantly tackling razor thin margins and cost as leading decision makers. Many manufacturers and producers have to question, should we build or should we buy? Many times it may seem more practical to build, especially without centralized control centers and disparate systems, but the team at Elutions has found time and again, from clients who have learned the hard way, that partnering with an industry expert is the more cost effective way forward. The way forward lies in gaining a competitive advantage by partnering with a provider like Elutions, with years of experience working with and connecting to existing systems in order to provide speed to value for clients and a true Artificial Intelligence Platform in Maestro, rather than the big tech players, who merely offer tools.

Maestro AI is proven to optimize the value chain and allow clients more flexibility to innovate while maintaining operational excellence and a competitive edge. To learn more about Maestro AI and Elutions, contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the February Series- Food, Beverage and Artificial Intelligence.


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Alexa, How are you using my data?

Smart Home technology is a well saturated market with technology that just a short few years ago many thought could not be possible. We have long talked about voice assistants and video enabled devices but now technology that was once thought to be futuristic has arrived, seemingly omnipresent in many households around the global. Not only are Artificial Intelligence enhanced video enabled devices now available but they come in many varieties, from home protection to two-way video chatting with your pet.


Video “chat” with a pet?….

When did animals start chatting?


With these ever present devices in so many households – cameras, digital assistants, smart TVs, smart thermostats and more – are we enhancing our physical privacy or actually putting it in jeopardy? Are the benefits, such as automation, smart phone remote capabilities and more, worth the risk of data privacy?

Are you taking advantage of Smart Tech, or is it taking advantage of you?

So what’s the big deal if your smart home has data that’s making your life easier? Amazon’s Alexa can make it easier for you to order more household items. Google Home can integrate with Google Nest to allow you to control your A/C by simply telling it to change the temperature. All great features that help make things a little bit more convenient in our day to day, but what exactly are these companies doing with our data?

Amazon is pretty transparent in regards to the voice data Alexa is storing, a quick look on their website tells us that. But what about Google, their biggest competitor in the Smart Home space? Google is fairly transparent as well, though as previously mentioned in the intro post, changing your privacy settings may impact your service. Google’s privacy policy website tells us that they are mostly using your saved data to improve searches and targeted ads, see this video below:

These are great examples of transparency from these corporations and they outline relatively mundane uses for your data but it’s still important to understand. The future consequences of these corporations having your stored data should be the biggest concern. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said in 2010:

“One of the things that eventually happens … is that we don’t need you to type at all,” later adding: “Because we know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less guess what you’re thinking about.”

Eric Schmidt

Adapt that quote to the Smart Home and eventually Google doesn’t need you to speak to Google Home, rather the A/C just changes to suit your pre-determined preferences when you arrive home because of patterns in your stored data combined with Artificial Intelligence. Alexa doesn’t need you to tell her to order paper towels, they just show up because all of your stored data has told them it’s time for another shipment.

While these specific examples of transparency regarding data storage are promising, consider how much you’re willing to give away and where the line is with your data privacy. Consider the fact that these devices are always listening and while the corporations behind them may be simply using this data to “train” their AI, the government or third party apps could be using this data for other reasons.

In 2018 law enforcement subpoenaed Amazon for Amazon Echo data as evidence in a criminal trial for murder. The lines between privacy, technology and criminal justice are changing daily. Amazon is not the only tech company that has had this happen, Fitbit and Apple have run into similar situations.  While most technology companies are quick to defend consumer privacy the question still stands:


How much of your personal privacy are you willing to give away?


Letting AI into our daily lives is not something to fear but maintaining control over data and privacy should be a top concern. There’s many ways to protect your privacy, or at least limit your exposure, while utilizing the benefits of Smart Home tech. Awareness is the first step in achieving enhanced privacy. Visit 101 Data Protection Tips for a comprehensive list of ways to attempt to protect your privacy.


Up Next for NCW: Digitization and Chemical Manufacturing


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