21 Feb CEO Insights: Thinking Bigger, Playing Smarter
Over the last couple of years, the industry has faced incredible hurdles. The combination of inflationary challenges, labor shortages and increased raw material costs are ever-present. But what we don’t often talk about, or celebrate, is the strength the industry is continuously building by facing these challenges day in and day out.
Earlier this month, BEMA had the opportunity to partner with Cypress Research and Sosland Publishing’s Baking & Snack magazine to present Capital Spending Insights for 2023. The presentation shared the survey results of 174 baking industry professionals who are tasked with making capital spending decisions for their company.
Despite the obvious and foreseeable challenges, the industry continues to demonstrate an incredible spirit of optimism. During the presentation, Jim Warren, Vice President of Exact Mixing, Reading Bakery Systems and BEMA Chairman of the Board, proposed an interesting question, one I think is worth considering. He asked if the industry was seeing a lessening of the challenges or if they are just getting better at working within the challenges.
This is an interesting thought and one that I think directly speaks to the overall strong and positive outlook on business the industry is demonstrating. People always need to eat, and the industry continues to be attractive to investors. Bakers are also seeing strong demand, particularly for new and indulgent products. Likewise, bakers realize if they aren’t able to satisfy demand, the work could be lost to a competitor.
In such a climate, there’s no choice but to grow and manage capacity. As a result, both bakers and manufacturers are working smarter to understand the problems that need to be solved. New solutions often require investment, and this is leading to an encouraging trend of increased capital spending. Those surveyed said they plan to spend on system improvements, maintenance and replacement parts, additional lines and construction of new buildings.
End users are also looking for equipment designed to reduce labor – a key driver of capital spending. These investments are being paired with a greater use of data to create more efficiency and less waste. But as Mike LaValle, Corporate Account Manager – Bakery and Snack team, Intralox and member of the BEMA Board of Directors, pointed out, these elements only hold value if you have the right inputs to interpret the data.
Insights provided by the Capital Spending Insights report demonstrate the incredible strength of the industry, both as partners and individual players. I applaud these moments when baker and suppliers come together to create positive change and movement within the industry.
In the next couple of weeks, you’ll have an opportunity to be a part of these kinds of collaborations as registration for NEXUS, Powered by BEMA and ABA opens at the end of the month. Watch your email for registration information coming soon and visit nexusofbaking.com to learn more about the NEXUS Spark Sessions, education opportunities, lodging and FAQs.