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Helping Food & Regulated Manufacturers Adapt – Creating Competitive Edge

By Roy McFarlane

UK Business Advisors has specialists that help food and regulated product manufacturers create a competitive advantage by developing and delivering solutions for complex business problems.

The food and regulated product manufacturing sector is the unsung hero of the UK economy. This sector provides the everyday packaged products we eat and drink. There is a lot to go wrong, this is no secret, but consumers mostly take this for granted; they just want their stuff.

The post-pandemic environment has highlighted a few critical constraints that food manufacturers are struggling to resolve:

  • Fluctuating demand
  • Skills & labour shortages
  • Sustainability
  • Application of advanced technology   

Fluctuating demand – lock-down and the movement to more home working changed consumer habits overnight, and manufacturers have struggled to adapt.

The rapid uptick in online shopping has caught manufacturers unprepared and has created a shockwave of demand volatility and planning uncertainty.

Skills & labour shortages – with more opportunities to work from home, difficulty bringing in migrant factory labour and people wanting less arduous working conditions, manufacturers are experiencing a unique conundrum. The lack of technical skills has compounded the problem.

Sustainability – rising energy costs and increased Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations from consumers and the buying community have made sustainability the topic of the moment.

Retailers and wholesalers are squeezing manufacturers to offset ESG costs because consumers do not want to pay for more sustainable and socially ethical options.

Spoilage and product shelf life are the most challenging and costly issues for fresh food producers.

Application of advanced technology – food manufacturing has typically relied on manual operations for dexterity and providing process flexibility. Advances in technology and user interface have improved significantly. However, the fundamental difficulty is still the product and the overall cost of changeovers.

Automation is not a simple copy-paste solution. If a business is not suitably prepared, it will incur high wastage, and the team will have difficulty supporting the new investment.

Food and regulated product manufacturers in the UK need help. Our purpose is to help manufacturing businesses sustainably manage the constant changes in customer demands, react to technological developments and compete with the low-wage economies.

We’ve helped manufacturers by developing and implementing sustainable tailored solutions that:

  • Maximise productivity
  • Improve production flexibility
  • Reduce value stream wastage
  • Rationalise operating costs
  • Optimise Costs of Goods Sold
  • Improve sustainability

If you need help finding a solution for any of these, get in touch to make a start on resolving your priority problems.

Roy McFarlane | UK Business Advisors (

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