ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Category - Warehousing

  • May 22 2017

    innovative-food-manufacturing-companies-solve-slowed-investment-growth-14070704.jpg

    Innovative food manufacturing companies solve slowed investment growth

    Australian food manufacturing and distribution industries have experienced excellent growth over the last few years.The one key economic metric that has stalled is affecting companies in the market directly, though. Capital investments dropped off 14.2 per cent, or $2.7 billion, between 2014 and 2015, according to the latest data collected by the Australian Food and Grocery Council's (AFGC) State of the Industry 2016 reported.A stall in capital investment is pushing companies to become innovative.Needless to say, this drop in venture capitalism can cripple small and medium-sized businesses, rendering them unable to contend in an incredibly competitive industry. Organisations that take a hard-lined stance on innovative managerial and logistical tactics, though, can find the profit margins they need to appeal to investors.Reading the fine printIt's sometimes easier to understand the larger issue in play through a microcosm. For this we can look to the recent public outcry over unsafe labelling methods. There's been a growing problem of consumers not being able to correctly identify allergens on packaged goods due to improper or non-existent labelling.Case in point: Nearly 30 per cent of foods on shelves had been cleared as safe to consume after undergoing contamination testing, but food manufacturing companies still had yet to assign a stamp of approval, according to a study conducted by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.There are a bevy of reasons spurning this issue. One that's becoming clear is the hurdle for growing companies to keep up with demand and regulations without the help of small business management software. The industry is calling for more high-tech innovation, and the organisations that fail to meet the plea are contributing most towards the stalled capital investments.Solutions to the labelling issue are being premiered at foodpro 2017 in July, according to FoodProcessing.com. This serves as a sign that many businesses are taking the public outcry seriously. What has yet to be seen is if companies can offset the slowed venture capitalism, combined with currently unfavourable tax cuts for the industry, by developing innovative methods to raise profit margins. Food production companies need more efficient warehousing methods. Looking forwardThe search for supplemental revenue normally starts with identifying inefficient workplace methods. Not only do traditional techniques of managing stock, bookkeeping or maintaining high volumes of deliveries slow the business down, but it's part of what's putting venture capital firms off the market in the first place."Stimulating investment is critical," Gary Dawson, AFGC CEO, said. "We are now in danger of drifting into a low investment trap, where uncertainty about return on investment flowing from retail price deflation and sluggish growth is seeing investment decisions deferred or dumped."Companies need to identify inefficient workplace methods to boost margins.Food manufacturing and distribution companies can't stop market deflation at the retail end, but they can promote change from within that will help ease the burden of falling profit margins. By integrating business management software, the smaller organisations can gain a leg up on the larger ones that are cornering the market.Take the labelling issue for example. Ultimately, this method of intricate identification can create extra work on the warehouse floor, which extends delivery times and can even result in the wrong orders going out. By investing in structured stock software, these businesses can improve their time-to-market and ensure error-free accuracy.Of course, with the industry trending towards complete digitisation of the back office logistics, having software that allows you to add optional modules as you need is key. Otherwise, businesses will be using multiple systems that don't speak to each other, meaning data can be lost or management can quickly get a headache.

    Read Full Story
  • Jul 7 2016

    food-safety-and-beyond-the-power-of-inventory-management-14108639.jpg

    Food safety and beyond: The power of inventory management

    Food safety and effective inventory management are inextricably linked. They are like peanut butter and jelly, fish and chips, cereal and milk - you can't have one without the other.The food industry is understandably one of the most regulated sectors in the world. Missteps with the storage, handling and preparation of food can cause serious health threats for consumers. In terms of businesses, the dissemination of this food can harm brand image, profitability and result in considerable fines.This becomes even more of a pressing concern when you consider there are 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia annually, according to the Food Safety Information Council. Of these cases, 31,290 result in hospitalizations, 86 end in death and 1 million require doctor visits.As with many things in this world, new technology is increasingly being leveraged to manage these problems. Optimised inventory management, via business management software, can significantly improve upon current systems to help reduce food safety issues that stem from human error. At the same time, it can better operational visibility and open up opportunities to cut costs and streamline efficient processes.

    Read Full Story
  • Jun 30 2016

    sustainability-in-the-australian-food-industry-7067332.jpg

    Sustainability in the Australian food industry

    Sustainability has been an increasingly popular buzzword across a variety of industries. It encompasses a lot of things. From ethical questions surrounding labour practises and supply chain transparency to a deeper understanding of where in the world our food is coming from to questions regarding production emissions and environmental policies.

    Read Full Story
  • Jun 17 2016

    how-technology-is-changing-the-australian-food-industry-for-the-better-14107819.jpg

    How technology is changing the Australian food industry for the better

    It's no secret that technology has changed the game for industries across the world. Platforms and software are constantly changing the market for the better. From improving operational efficiencies to inspiring more accountability within business processes, the advancements are plentiful.The Australian food industry is no exception. Technology has provided the optimal framework for the continued growth of exports, imports, production and manufacturing throughout the country. Beyond growth, digital advancements have made way for a new level of transparency in the food and beverage sector. Internal processes are in the spotlight more than ever as consumers demand to know where their food comes from and whether the conditions are ethical.Clearly, the changes spurred by technology in the food industry are wide-reaching. And for the most part, these advancements seem to be positive. Let's take a closer look at the top three food industry improvements due to technology:AccountabilityThe highly connected nature of today's world means increased levels of accountability for the modern food company. For better or worse, the window to company policies and procedures is wide open for consumers. And they are demanding changes to commonly accepted practices.The recently announced food label reforms are a great example. Consumers demanded more information about the origin on their foods and their cries were met with policies. The new legislation will require food suppliers to label their items with a kangaroo logo to indicate the product was made in Australia. The new labels will also include bar charts to indicate how much of the product includes Australia-based ingredients based off weight percentages.According to Business Insider, consumer advocacy groups such as Choice are pleased by the policies and are hopeful this trend toward transparency will continue.

    Read Full Story
  • May 12 2016

    the-australian-food-industry-in-close-up-14103846.jpg

    The Australian food industry in close-up

    The Australian food industry is in a vibrant and profitable place currently, as good sentiment and positive financial returns grow steadily around importing, exporting, production and manufacturing. Following the ebbs and flows of such a dynamic industry is crucial in order to stay ahead of developments in new markets, legal developments and advancements in procedure and software.Demand for Australian products throughout AsiaThe Australian Trade and Investment Commission (ATIC) reports that a rise in living standards and a greater diversity of choice are two factors that play into the increased demand for products outside of China. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Tran Bao Minh, a chief executive of International Dairy Products, said that Australian food suppliers need to move quickly and operate at full efficiency to capture and deliver to the Asian markets."Demand is changing fast and consumers are constantly looking for new and better products," Mr. Minh said.The ATIC reports that the fastest-growing food and beverage market in Asia is China, with an impressive average annual growth rate of 35.4 per cent from 2011 to 2014."Demand is changing fast and consumers are constantly looking for new and better products," The opportunity is huge; China has a population of over 1.3 billion, as reported by Euromonitor, and is undeniably a strong market for the Australian food industry. Therefore, as demand for Australian products throughout Asia remains strong, Australian food and beverage businesses should be looking to manufacture and deliver in a smooth, timely fashion.Positivity across the Australian PMI index for food manufacturingAs a sub-index, the food industry has been performing well on the Australian Industry (Ai) Group's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The index overall slightly dropped by 4.7 points to 53.4 points in April.This figure means that expansion has been at a slower rate than in March, as results on the Ai PMI that are above 50 points indicate expansion and a reading a below 50 suggests a decline in expansion. The PMI generates results from a monthly rotating sample of around 200 manufacturing companies.A drop of this size can be ignored for the most part, as it is small and sits within a wider upwards trend, and the PMI April result was the highest since April 2004. This manufacturing trend sits within the longest period of unwavering growth for the Australian PMI as a whole since September 2006.According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, food and beverage is a major industry sector for the Australian economy both because of its employment and its financial contribution. The various players differ in size, which provides the opportunity for niche products and large scale manufacturing of bulk items to both exist in fulfilling local and overseas needs.Ai Group's chief executive, Innes Willox, said this growth is a positive turn for an industry that has, until recently, been battling the choppy post-global financial crisis (GFC) economic seas. The Australian food industry is performing well on the PMI index. "While margins remain tight, recovering domestic market share and building momentum in a variety of export markets provide a strong foundation for the lift in confidence required for the sector to move up another gear. A budget that boosts incentives for business investment and innovation would come at just the right time for manufacturers to capitalise on recent gains," Mr. Willox said.According to the PMI April release, the Australian dollar as slightly appreciated, but the overall drop in the value of the Australian dollar across recent years is the main reason for the strength seen within the index. This depreciation assists sales in exporting and importing, providing room for growth.This is a positive outlook for the...

    Read Full Story
  • Dec 10 2015

    australian-manufacturing-industry-enjoying-a-strong-end-to-2015-14099438.jpg

    Australian manufacturing industry enjoying a strong end to 2015

    As a cornerstone of the Australian economy, the manufacturing industry represents a large portion of this country's past, present and future. In fact, according to the Parliament of Australia, it accounted for 6.5 per cent of the nation's total gross domestic product (GDP) and supported close to 1 million jobs in 2013-14.

    Read Full Story
  • Nov 20 2015

    how-can-your-business-optimise-stock-for-the-holiday-season-14070701.jpg

    How can your business optimise stock for the holiday season?

    The holiday season can be a time of great opportunity yet high stress for a small business. While consumers are more willing to spend, this requires firms to accurately predict and manage stock levels.In order to capitalise on the increased activity, businesses need to have strong systems in place, such as structured stock software, to see success.Why is inventory management so important?A joint report from eBay Enterprise and CFI Group uncovered some key insights into consumer demands and expectations for stock.36 per cent of customers expect on-demand shipping and ordering information.According to the survey, 79 per cent of consumers online will change brands if they are unable to get the product in time, rather than waiting for a restock. A further 36 per cent expect on-demand shipping and ordering information when requested. CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras explained the potential consequences businesses can face by not having the right stock levels, especially since many companies now operate in the digital space."The critical nature of product availability is emphasised when realising that not only will a retailer lose a sale on the out of stock item, but often times on other products in an overall purchase," she said."It's true that consumers have a strong desire for multiple ordering and shipping options, but first the product must be readily available."How can you better handle your stock?When estimating your stock levels for the holiday season, it is important to look at historical information and possible trends. For example, last year Australia saw a 4.1 per cent yearly increase, according to the Australian Retailers Association. The organisation stated that this was a positive sign of growth, yet noted that sale surges in December are often hard to measure in the statistics.This is where using business intelligence software can be useful in improving the accuracy of your forecast. By utilising real-time and historical data, firms can make better decisions and predictions of required to meet customer or client demand.  Using software can help businesses make better forecasts. Another key consideration is having a strong internal system in place. A report by Deloitte highlighted that businesses must establish a set of KPIs and best practices measures in areas such as inventory transfers, inventory adjustments, and procurement and sourcing to effectively meet these goals. With the right technology and methods, businesses can enter the holiday season with the confidence they will see a successful period of sales management. 

    Read Full Story
  • May 28 2015

    3-strategies-for-smes-to-optimise-their-warehouse-14103147.jpg

    3 strategies for SMEs to optimise their warehouse

    Small and medium-sized businesses will often find themselves investing in a warehouse, especially if they are moving a lot of products quickly and need a centralised place to manage their stock.

    Read Full Story
  • Apr 23 2015

    low-cpi-increase-in-march-means-prices-remain-stable-14101786.jpg

    Low CPI increase in March means prices remain stable

    Australia's consumer price index (CPI) rose only 0.2 per cent in the March quarter of this year, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    Read Full Story
  • Apr 22 2015

    e-commerce-offers-opportunities-for-australian-food-industry-14099567.jpg

    E-commerce offers opportunities for Australian food industry

    The reputation of locally produced food in the Chinese market is not great. This is why Chinese mothers have a huge desire for importing baby food to ensure they are feeding their babies the highest quality products.

    Read Full Story

Signup for Updates and our Newsletter

Get the latest news and updates on how your business can grow with the power and flexibility of ABM.

buyers guide