The beginning of this new decade will start with a shift towards food industry automation. This type of innovation has been knocking in recent years but in 2020 the consolidation of automated processes in different areas will start.
In the area of sales, we will see automated purchase systems by SKU implemented. The product will be automatically supplied when the items on the line run out. The effort of the seller will now be focused on the chain buyer and negotiate space on the shelves of the store. The rest will be only supply and demand.
This has a great risk for brands as they must ensure the positioning of their products on the shelves is the most optimal in each store. They should try to find additional or special displays that help them move inventory in a more efficient way.
The smart grocery shopping carts also join the up-coming trends. They also include applications that allow you to order groceries online and then pick them up at the store or receive them at home.
The food industry automation has its challenges as brands need to compete against the time consumers spend on their phones looking at what they will buy next. They need to optimize these platforms to make the shopping experience easier by implementing product recommendations so when the customer is buying the system will recommend related items.
Self-payment or cashier-less registers are taking over. The new technology available is making paying for groceries easier, faster and more dynamic. With cameras that allow us to read bar codes and count the number of SKUs, theft can be avoided and lines at the registers are no longer a problem.
In addition, payment methods are being diversified. Paying through a mobile phone is becoming the norm versus using traditional cash payments, which is become obsolete in this new era of food industry automation.
Cleaning aisles in stores. It has become a common practice to see vacuum robots in some stores doing the cleaning. This allows the human effort to be dedicated to other aspects of the job.
Merchandise reception is now faster when making deliveries with pallets of previously inventoried products. Merchandise counting is done through optical readers and human support is used for the shelf storage. This helps reduce warehouse space and expand exhibition space in the store for the public.
These new technological processes cut down on the number of employees needed in a store. The challenge will be to create jobs with employees better prepared with new technical and managerial skills where the worker easily integrates with the food industry automation and has the opportunity to receive a better salary.