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Smart Working: Ensure effective collaboration wherever your teams are

2020/03/19

At this very moment in time working in a connected and collaborative way have never been more important for Food & Beverage business.

Enabling and implementing “smart working” that bridges both internal and external teams has become a pre-requisite for businesses looking to improve their operational efficiency. Now more than ever, the spotlight is on how true collaboration can be facilitated – between departments, suppliers or customers - regardless of physical location, in offices or at home.

Smart working encourages businesses to rethink their approach to operations, and to embrace new technologies in order to create just such a framework. However, moving from traditional ways of working to adopting this new “smart” approach throughout the business – including supply chains – often means addressing and resolving some key cultural and technical challenges.

These may include:

  • Establishing effective communication practices between departments, and between internal and external stakeholders
  • Current use of “analogue” data collation and information sharing methods such as spreadsheets, stored on local drives (not universally accessible), typically without clear version protocols. 
  • Poor compliance with agreed processes or workflows, resulting in departments or teams creating their own process variations
  • Access to key data, assets or status information held by other stakeholders/teams (internal or external)
  • Lack of visibility regarding the impact a change in one stage or element of the process has on other stages and outputs
  • Bottlenecks at key stages of the workflow preventing optimum productivity 

One of the biggest challenges with traditional ways of working is that processes and information become siloed. This is the antithesis of “smart working”, in that data and activities are no longer integrated with one another or accessible to all parties, making collaboration all but impossible.

Helping teams to view the process holistically from “end-to-end” and instantly see just how their actions, information and inputs are connected can bring huge benefits from a collaborative standpoint. Doing so means providing everyone with access and visibility, and making sure that teams are all working with (and contributing to) the same, single source of information.

Advances in technology mean that cloud-based solutions have become a realistic alternative for most businesses, allowing teams to overcome the issue of accessibility. The next move on is to deploy solutions (or an integrated solution) which facilitates progression to genuine “smart working”.

Those of you in the UK’s Food & Beverage industry are working tirelessly right now to ramp up production, and keep crucial food supplies to the nation moving in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. For many teams, this may be the first time that true “remote working” has been put to the test. The weeks and months to come present an opportunity to re-evaluate some of the more traditional operating practices, as by necessity we look to evolve and optimise these new processes.

At 4Pack, we believe passionately in the power that technology has to help bring teams closer together, to make getting products to market faster and easier, and to significantly reduce the risk of error. 

Over the next few weeks – through a series of webinars and other content - we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at some practical ways that businesses and teams can adopt a “smart working” approach, and reap the benefits associated. We hope you’ll be able to join us on this journey and, as ever, would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the way.

 

4Pack exists to help Food & Beverage manufacturers and brands of all sizes to push innovative, safer products to market across channels quickly. If you want to turbo charge your product launch process, book a demo with one of our experts.