The best parts of the holiday season often involve sharing a good meal with good people. Candles are lit, plates are full, food is steaming and laughter echoes throughout the room. Looking back on years of celebrated holidays, it’s not the gifts received, but the delicious dinners with friends and family that remain most special and memorable.
November and December are undoubtedly the busiest times of the year when it comes to food production and consumption. The work is, quite literally, non-stop. In fact, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends, shoppers are expected to spend nearly $1,500 per household this holiday season, with food and beverage ranking among the top items for purchase.
Those numbers mean it’s more important than ever to avoid the hiccups that may slow down the workflow so that your shop continues to run exactly the way you want it to despite the fact that it’s peak production season.
Food and beverage manufacturers who want to keep up with the demands of the holiday season should consider these five areas of their business:
- Wastefulness – It’s the busiest time of the year, so ensuring that you’re producing enough is essential to your success. But where do you draw the line? You don’t want to over-produce or under-produce, as both situations can be costly for your organization. You can avoid wastefulness by optimizing your supply chain so that your products move through your factory, ship out and reach store shelves more quickly.
- Consistency and quality control – Ensuring consistency and quality during peak season is paramount. Consumers want to focus on their families during this special time of year and expect quality to be the best. By remaining consistent in the factory, you keep your clientele happy. It’s essential that you have effective processes, quality audits and best practices in place to help you ensure consistent quality.
- FSMA pressure –The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires that businesses better track their ingredients and processes and that companies provide proper documentation on any stage of the production process. Businesses must focus on good practices and proactive prevention of any potential problems to achieve FSMA goals. The last thing food businesses should be focusing on during this busy season is food safety and compliance, so it’s imperative to have trustworthy technology in place to help with these efforts.
- Employee morale – Don’t forget about the people that help to make your business as great as it is. According to an Achievers Research report, just 21 percent of employees say they’re fully engaged at work, and 14 percent of employees would consider changing jobs because they aren’t engaged. Your employees are vital to your success, so it’s important to let them know that they’re valued, appreciated and that the work they do is critical to the success of the business. Ensuring your workers are engaged will increase retention and productivity. When empowered with the right technology, employees are able to work smarter and more efficiently.
- Visibility – Transparency across your food production is critical. Through visibility you can better manage people, processes and equipment to ensure resources are being used efficiently and effectively. If a key piece of equipment breaks down during this peak season, the possible cost and profit lost could be devastating to your company. Having insights and transparency allows you to make better decisions faster to get production back on schedule with minimal loss.
Aptean technology is purpose-built for the food and beverage industry to help you through these high-volume, high-production seasons in your business. Aptean can help you improve business processes and efficiency, increase productivity and provide you with transparency of information so you can focus on producing quality products and keeping your customers happy.
Leveraging Aptean solutions, you can streamline and standardize operations, effectively manage food safety and quality, increase inventory turns and reduce expired and short shelf life inventory, and provide you with real-time visibility, among other functionalities. If you want to learn more about how Aptean can help your food business, get in touch.
We hope you have a happy and successful holiday season.