A new insight paper from Siemens – The Rising Demand for Smart Technology – examines the perfect storm of business pressures faced by the Baked Goods and Confectionary industry in the UK and Ireland, and how it is affecting the industry’s key technology providers – such as the supply chain sector. It discusses how pioneering industry players are deploying a combination of leading technology and smart financing techniques to stay ahead in post-pandemic markets.
The new Siemens paper describes how the pandemic crisis and its aftermath have caused various forms of disruption in the Baked Goods & Confectionary manufacturing sector, with product volume demands changed, routes to market unsettled, margins affected and packaging output requiring a new balance between trade and retail customers. Brexit-driven labour shortages have only exacerbated the situation. The insight paper notes how, as a result, the need for digital and automated technology for the supply chain sector has increased demand for agility and flexibility, while being able to rapidly pivot operations has taken on a new importance. Recent research from Siemens has revealed that 81% of Food Manufacturers are exploring ways of capturing and connecting more data on their operations.
However, the paper also raises the issue of tough post-pandemic financial pressures, along with hesitancy from many manufacturers to commit capital to new technology investments, however beneficial. In a world where cash conservation is vital, smart financing techniques are therefore proving even more critical to enable investment in these new technologies. Specialist, individualised financing arrangements are needed to fit the specific cash flow needs of each manufacturer.
Keith Thornhill, Head of Food & Beverage, Siemens GB&I, comments, “The current choice for Baked Goods and Confectionary manufacturers is agonising. Our research shows that there is huge potential for improved process efficiency in the industry, delivering serious uplift to commercial margins. Modernisation and digital process control can transform productivity. Yet at the same time, the pandemic experience has undermined investment confidence – an understandable state of affairs. That’s why a holistic look at affordable ways of investing, embracing both technology and financing techniques, is so critical.”
Carolyn Newsham, Digital Industries Financing Partner, Siemens Financial Services GB&I, adds, “This is a watershed moment for Baked Goods and Confectionary manufacturers to either invest in their technological future or fall behind competitively. This paper outlines some of the smart financing techniques which are being deployed by forward-thinking players to keep investment going without encountering a cash-flow crisis.”