For businesses trying to make a name for themselves in the beverage industry, the challenges are vast and varied. Yes, the sector can be a profitable one – it’s predicted that the global market will be worth $1.86 trillion by 2024 – but that does not mean there are any guarantees of success.
There are a wide range of difficulties facing start-ups of all kinds, and being able to make an impression within the drinks industry is certainly no different. Of course, not every enterprise will start out hoping to become the next Coca Cola, Heineken or Starbucks, but having a solid business plan and a clearly defined set of goals is likely to offer a greater chance for success.
Part of that planning involves identifying which tools and processes are going to help your organisation compete against its rivals. Advances are being made all the time, but which technologies might be most effective in launching a beverage business. Read on to know more:
1. Flow-through systems
Automated systems can prove invaluable in terms of streamlining the processes of sorting, packaging, labelling and distributing produce. Flow-through systems utilise robots to do the vast majority of this work, using proximity sensors in order to detect the presence of other objects and repeat the same movements. Operating in this way can help to reduce the risk of human error while simultaneously lowering running costs and increasing productivity and efficiency.
2. Industrial Internet of Things
This is where devices in an industrial setting are connected on a network in order to communicate with one another. The IIoT can enable machines involved in the manufacturing process to log data and identify any faults in the production line, which means each drink is turned out to a greater level of consistency.
3. Voice technology
Another development that is assisting beverage businesses – and those in other industries – is the emergence of voice technology. Warehouse operators can now harness this concept to issue voice commands that will be picked up by the relevant pieces of machinery, which subsequently carry out the action. This means tasks can be completed in a safer, more time-efficient manner, while it also makes training of new employees easier in that there are fewer manual skills for them to learn.
4. NFC tags
Moving away from the manufacturing side of the business, near field communication (NFC) tags can help to improve the customer experience once the product has been put to market. NFC technology is what’s used in contactless payment devices, and the concept has been adapted by the beverage industry in order to add another dimension to the product that consumers purchase.
They can be added to the label or packaging and scanned with a smartphone to unlock a range of additional information about the drink.
5. Cloud service
For businesses in any field, the challenge of data storage is one that can be difficult to overcome. Giants of the industry will have the available resources to own and run their own infrastructures, but others may not be in a position to do so or may wish to focus their spending in different areas.
As a solution, there are cloud service providers who offer products such as Virtual Desktop or Azure Virtual Desktop with rented access to certain software at a lower cost, which frees up funds for beverage companies to commit more capital towards the likes of R&D, production and marketing.