Driving technology

was just speaking with a colleague recently about the speed at which technology is changing our lives and how it seems to be accelerating and changing faster than ever.

I can recall a couple of my own personal technology milestones such as finally moving from in-person to online banking and dropping my pager for a cell phone. I’ve really dated myself here, but back then, the changes didn’t seem to come on a daily basis and didn’t seem so life-changing.

We all know there have been a multitude of changes in manufacturing and at the retail level, all of which are aimed at saving everyone in the value chain, and including consumers, time and money.

Markus Brettschneider of ABB takes a look in this issue at connectivity and digitalization in food production, and how Canadian manufacturers stand to benefit. The driving force according to Brettschneider? As consumers expect more convenience and accessibility, companies such as Amazon and Walmart are seizing the opportunity to endorse new ecommerce business models, and active investors are pushing manufacturers to simplify and optimize their supply chains. Digitalization, automation and robotics offer solutions to these challenges.

Shopping lists apps; motion sensors that detect what I am looking at and display ingredients, origin and carbon footprint; smart inventory systems; self-checkouts; self-driving shopping carts; drone delivery; it’s all here.

Sometimes I’m not convinced who is really driving the technology revolution bus – or is it driverless car – consumers or manufacturers. Most of the time I feel like I’m being dragged along and sometimes I miss the good old days. But then again, wow, is this stuff ever cool!


Theresa Rogers
Canadian Food Business

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