Data critical to mitigate supply chain challenges in the food industry

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Digitization is essential to ensuring efficiency of the supply chain management in agriculture. It brings transparency and eliminates errors caused by conventional methods. Furthermore, high-quality data - a direct outcome of digitization - lends an operational edge to businesses, necessary for efficient supply chain management (SCM).

Accurate, verifiable, and contextually relevant data is imperative to:

  • Reducing the demand-supply gap
  • Improving farmer engagement
  • Keeping up with fast-changing consumer preferences

Leveraging data driven agriculture intelligence to upgrade conventional SCM

Technology has become sufficiently ubiquitous, and the food industry has automated its processes to address various challenges. However, just implementing technology and collecting data would remain mere numbers at the end of the day unless it is analyzed to bring out meaningful insights that help make informed decisions.

Therefore, it is not just about implementing technology but making it truly intelligent. Intelligent AgTech connects data, people, and insights, transforming traditional food processing into a proactive industry adept at simplifying the supply chain visibility, mastering data management, and resolving incompetent processes.

Here are a few important ways intelligent technology, powered by digitization, can help overcome critical supply chain challenges in the food industry.

Using Cloud solutions to simplify complex supply chain processes

The food processing industry is a highly dynamic sector, and siloed digitalization of agriculture is an impediment to supply chain transparency and efficiency. It is observed that so far, importance has been given to digitizing the upstream value chain (consumers, procurement, etc.), while downstream value chain (production, distribution, supply chain, etc.) remains unattended.

However, insights from internal research conducted by Cropin indicate that as food processors realize the significance of transparency and traceability at every touchpoint in the farming process, they are keen to digitally transform the downstream value chain.

Of the food processors surveyed in the study,

  • 52% are now prioritizing digitization of warehousing and enabling food supply chain transparency for accuracy
  • 49% look at farm digitization and that of processing for timesaving and gaining valuable insights
  • 45% target a complete supply chain digitization to gain the same predictability in the returns seen in their upstream value chain

An intelligent platform like Cropin Cloud can help meet the above digitization objectives by addressing all the supply chain concerns faced by the food industry. Cropin Cloud helps to digitize complex processes and workflows across the complete supply chain, i.e., journey of a produce from the farm to a warehouse, all the way up to the fork.

Remote monitoring of the downstream value chain with digitization

In addition, using cloud solutions, agribusinesses can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT), agricultural drones, satellite imaging, robots, etc., to collate data and remotely monitor the downstream value chain (sowing seeds to harvesting till it reaches consumer plates). An integrated portfolio of mobile apps and web solutions - such as the one offered by Cropin Apps - can help continual data collection and integration from various sources enabling farm to fork transparency.

It enables remote crop monitoring through geo-tagging farm plots, monitoring the implementation of a Package of Practices (PoPs), advisory for crop health management, monitoring crop performance for yield predictability, pest and disease alerts, weather alerts, and much more.

Moreover, it fosters seamless communication among growers, Agri-businesses, and other stakeholders.

Enabling last mile traceability with QR code tracking

Last-mile traceability is another critical challenge faced by the food industry, and Cropin Trace addresses it efficiently. Cropin Trace is a traceability solution enabled with a QR code to track food from farm to fork. It eliminates counterfeiting through customizable, weatherproof, and tamper-proof QR code labels.

In addition, Cropin Trace monitors and manages downstream processes by establishing quality benchmarks and meeting food safety/certification standards for exports.

An intelligent cloud to integrate and strengthen data management architecture

According to Cropin desk research, at present, of food processing companies studied,

  • 55% of the data is collected of which 45% is analyzed
  • 92% of data is predicted to be digitized and 86% of data analyzed over the next two years

Holistic data management solutions like Cropin Data Hub can help accelerate data collection, analysis, and digitization.

Cropin Data Hub enables the structuring of enormous Agri-data through an Agri-object model. It integrates all Agri-data from sources such as IoT devices, agricultural drones, mechanization data from farming equipment, remote sensing satellite information, and much more.

Cropin Data Hub further helps to cut down data engineering efforts by 80% and strengthens the master data management architecture of an enterprise.

Resolving supply-chain issues with data-driven insights

Cropin Data Hub continually combines millions of structured Agri-data sets with Cropin Intelligence contextual deep learning models resulting in insights and value for businesses. It leverages Cropin's proprietary algorithms for satellite imaging and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver plot-level insights in real time at a fraction of the traditional cost and effort. This analysis helps to remotely identify crops and determine plot acreage, analyze crop health, and estimate yield with accuracy using historical and predictive insights into plot performance. It also provides timely alerts from germination to harvest, helps to monitor water stress using remote sensing data, and appraises farmers based on their plot's productivity.

The AI-driven insights generated by data analytics in agriculture ensure precision farming, help to predict accurate demand and supply of Agri-input resources, mitigate unknown risks, improve business performance, and win customer loyalty. The data obtained can also be used by enterprises to validate their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

Digitization to improve supply chain efficiency and unlock new business values

An efficient supply chain helps consumers and manufacturers to easily trace the product's origin. Supply chain visibility helps manufacturers save effort and money when required to recall or withdraw a particular product. Transparency is vital as consumers are highly health conscious and are keen to learn where their food comes from. This makes an integrated digital platform like Cropin Cloud fundamental to improve supply chain efficiency of food processing companies with its data driven intelligent insights and advisories. The farm to fork transparency enabled by Cropin Cloud is vital for enterprises to unlock new business values.

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