ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Showing News Filtered By Date from: 2017-01-01 - 2017-01-31

  • Jan 26 2017

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    Smart technology in food manufacturing

    It's 2017, and we're another year closer to the futuristic society that cinema was dreaming up in the 1980s and '90s. The past decade has certainly heralded the dawn of smart technology, automation and, with it, a mounting concern over what these will mean for future production processes. Will 3D printing mean the end of food manufacturing?3D food printing works by shaping a product physically and chemically from a digital blueprint, called an Additive Manufacturing File.For those in the food manufacturing and distribution sectors, 3D printing is a contentious development. On the one hand, it has opened the door for manufacturers to drastically reduce their production costs - creating casts or complicated production lines - by removing the laborious steps required in manufacturing.On the other, the technology has afforded those with even basic computing knowledge to design, create and produce their own 3D-printed masterpieces from their home.But which has the more viable future in food production? The answer could very well be: Both. 3D food printing works by shaping a product physically and chemically from a digital blueprint, called an Additive Manufacturing File, but the quality is entirely subject to the capabilities of the printer itself. This presents an incredible opportunity for manufacturers, allowing them to create and test prototypes at a fraction of the cost and time. Cheaper machines, however, produce a lower-quality result from the same file, making them unreliable for mass production.  Imagine 3D printing this dessert in your own home. As the global marketplace becomes more consumer-facing and a greater importance is put on the recipient and their experience of the product, crowd-sourced prototype development will not be uncommon.Think of it like beta-testing a video game, but for physical objects. Your business has a select group of highly devoted customers with 3D-printing capabilities at home, who can then 3D print a prototype and provide feedback in real-time. As the costs for 3D printing are minimal, this furthers both customer relationships and product development. Imagine if, in the near future, you could sign up to test new ice-cream flavours, trial desserts from around the world and help influence the design and composition of a new kind of ravioli. If the food production industry adopts new technology as it emerges instead of fighting it, advances like 3D printing could benefit both the consumer and manufacturers alike. The world's first product scanner can now reveal chemical components, calories and other data in food.New smartphone technology could boost food developmentAre you've deterred by others handling fruit at the supermarket, squeezing and prodding produce until it is covered with polka-dot finger marks and unattractive.A new smartphone unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January is the world's first product scanner that can reveal chemical components, calories and other data for food, pharmaceuticals and even plants. For manufacturers within the food industry, the development will allow for greater monitoring of consistency in products. From a consumer perspective, it both demands and affords transparency towards the food we are putting into our bodies - you'll never have to buy bruised, ruined fruit again.Dror Sharon, CEO of Consumer Physics, believes the technology is the next leap in smartphone evolution."Just as the smartphone put the power of the internet and a vast knowledge base into our pockets, this innovation will put the capability to learn about the chemical and molecular makeup of materials into the public's hands," he said."This is the next leap forward not just for mobile phones, but for all sorts of connected devices. The Changhong H2 and smartphones are only the beginning."Smart technology for the food industry will require software that is both intelligent and adaptable.

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  • Jan 12 2017

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    What's next for the world of e-commerce?

    Not too long ago, the idea of online shopping was a little strange. People were comfortable with just going down to their local store, driving to the mall or asking a friend to find a specific item or piece of clothing on a trip overseas. The world of online retail especially left many people feeling sceptical. Horror stories of orders gone wrong circulated heavily: products that looked nothing like the pictures, scams and overdue deliveries.Now, of course, the online world is going from strength to strength: eMarketer projects retail e-commerce sales will increase to over $4 trillion by 2020, making up nearly 15 per cent of total retail spending that year. Furthermore, the Walker Sands' 2016 Future of Retail study questioned nearly 1,500 consumers on their weekly shopping habits, with the results showing online shopping has no plans of slowing down in the meantime. Nearly 80 per cent of consumers would choose drones for delivery if it meant getting purchases within an hour of ordering.Consumer shop online once a weekThe study found that the number of online shoppers is up more than 41 per cent over 2014, with more than 30 per cent of all consumers now shopping online at least once a week. Walker Sands also questioned consumers about their in-store shopping, luxury e-commerce and mobile payment habits.According to the study, 92 per cent of respondents say they prefer shopping for food and groceries at a physical location, however nearly 70 per cent say they would be willing to buy these products on Amazon or an online supermarket site.More than a third of respondents reported using a mobile app to pay for goods in the past year, with Android Pay the most popular mobile payment option. Just as this technology has taken off in recent years, another recent development in delivery could change how we receive goods in the not-too-distant future.  Drones are projected to see future use in product delivery. Future delivery takes to the skiesConsumers were also asked about their opinion on drones being used for delivery, with nearly 80 per cent of respondents saying they would choose drones as a delivery option if it meant getting purchases within an hour of ordering. Eighty per cent of the most frequent shoppers reported they would be more likely to buy from a retailer that offered drone delivery, compared to only 53 per cent of infrequent online shoppers.When asked about safety and security concerns around drones, 72 per cent of the consumers surveyed said theft and damaged goods were their top concerns.Forty per cent of the survey participants expect to have drone delivery options within the next two years. However, the attitude towards drones are similar to those presented at the dawn of online shopping - consumers are wary of new technology that seems untested, unsafe, or a break from their usual routine. Sculpting the shopping experience for customersSo where will the future of e-commerce take us? Looking at the Walker Sands survey, customers are demanding security and efficiency from online shopping, opening the door for big data to swoop in and offer a helping hand. Data analytics will help drive the future of e-shopping, with customer information collected, collated and used to offer personalised and individual online shopping experiences. Advanced Business Manager offers core accounting system software that can be customised with additional modules. As everything begins with our core accounting software, you can easily add-on the modules that you require as you need them - presenting a scalable, durable solution that changes as your needs do. If you're new to ABM software, or already a customer and looking to make the move to an e-commerce platform, get in touch...

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