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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Could consumers drive a business tech revolution?

23-Apr-2018
Could consumers drive a business tech revolution?
Consumer power has often been embodied in the phrase “the customer is always right”. However, in recent years, we’ve seen the influence of consumer trends have much more of an impact on the fundamental processes organisations use to operate. The recent media attention around waste is a prime example, consumers are now publicly targeting organisations in a bid to sway them towards reducing their environmental footprint, for the greater good. This has often successfully resulted in significant changes to the type of packaging and the processes used by many large retailers. There have also been multiple announcements from various household names, advising that they are eliminating large percentages of plastic from their supply chains; the Co-op for example, has recently stated that it’s making a move with its own-brand plastic water bottles, to consist of 50% recycled plastic by the end of 2018.

The force that is the consumer opinion, has led to further alterations within large organisations, in the hope to keep existing customers loyal. Business digitisation for example, is being increasingly adopted to attempt to match shopper demand and in the case of food waste, digitisation can unlock measurable business benefits, such as improved efficiency and greater visibility. These benefits can work to drastically reduce an organisation’s total waste, through the successful implementation of an IoT deployment within the cold chain and at scale within food retail environments.

With successful IoT deployments, retailers have increased visibility and control over what is actually going on within their environment and within their supply chain. As an example, retailers can utilise this enhanced insight, control and automation to manage and maintain the temperature and performance of their refrigeration estate, ensuring the safety and quality of the food products within the units. By utilising a solution such as this, retailers can decrease food waste considerably, whilst also using demand side response and tailored unit temperatures to reduce energy consumption – all of which work in favour of the consumer view. This particular strategy for reducing waste demonstrates the power consumers have to drive forward a business technology revolution, encouraging key players to adopt digitisation to benefit their customer base, themselves, and the planet.

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