The New Frontier of Bakery Manufacturing



The new frontier of bakery manufacturing is now, and the clock is ticking for implementing technology through robotics and automation.

Busting through the enigma of technology’s “shiny objects” and breaking down the language of technology, ABA panelist Daniel van der Have, Managing Director, Accenture, emphasized why the industry needs to embrace technology now. In short, there’s one last chance to build a stronger business and a resilient workforce today and in the future or forever play catch-up.


Resiliency, Retention, Recruitment

Today, technology combines a powerful trifecta of increased computing power, algorithm enhancements and volumes of data. But before jumping on the technology bandwagon, it’s critical to be clear on what you know and what you don’t know, and that starts at the top.

A survey by MIT Sloan Management Review found only 7% of businesses have digitally savvy executive teams. Not surprisingly, those possessing these teams are more likely to outperform those who do not. Not sure where you stand? Take inventory of your business’s current digital capabilities and decide where you can and want to be.

With digital disruption becoming the norm and the growing prevalence of coexistence between robots, blockchain and apps, it’s important to know which technologies will best serve your company’s needs. Decisions should be made now, because technology outputs will continue to improve, with or without you, even when the inputs don’t change.

How to Get There

But before jumping to the nearest “shiny object,” challenge your team and your business by asking:

  1. Why should technology be applied to my business?
  2. What capabilities do I need to be successful?
  3. How do I realize the value of my investments?
  4. What does technology mean to my organization, culture and workforce?
  5. How do I mitigate the potential impacts of regulation, legal and PR?

What’s the Purpose?

Once the answers are in, decide on what you’ll do with the insights to create meaningful outcomes. Digging through the growing amounts of available information and making sense of the reams of data is going to require assistance. Applying the skills of a data scientist and coming-soon knowledge graphics, supported by AI, can help draw important correlations with full data transparency.

Having this information readily available provides you and your customers with clickable insights on the supply chain. With this, you’ll know who has been disrupted, making preparations for a pivot easier when the time is right. The information is also critical for proving the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) outcomes responsible businesses must share with internal employees, the public and the industry at large.

Creating the Path

Now is the time to take full advantage of technology in your organization. Start by asking questions now and look to other industries for examples of who is doing things well. Then, decide which technologies will help produce the unique and meaningful outcomes needed to realize the full value of your organization today and in the future.

The closing session of ABA’s 2021 Virtual Conference featured Rick Hoskins, President, Colborne Foodbotics and Yeaman Machine Technology and Bill Livingstone, Vice President Campbells Snacks Manufacturing Operations, Campbell Soup Company. The session was moderated by Daniel van der Have, Managing Director, Accenture.

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