The Continuous Processing Competitive Advantage for Small Food Manufacturers

Competitive AdvantageIn the previous article, we identified three ways moving to continuous processing can make a big difference for your business. Here, we explore how small food manufacturers that implement continuous processing have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

Meeting customers’ quality expectations

One of the biggest advantages of continuous processing is that it gives you consistent results. You don’t have to worry about a piece of chicken being overcooked or a ready meal in the back of the bottom rack not achieving its desired color.

Continuous processing gives you the same results every time, which means you’ll meet your customers’ quality expectations every time. That will go a long way toward earning and maintaining your customers’ trust. And, as you know, trust is a huge competitive advantage.

Ensuring a high level of food safety

You can’t afford a food safety incident, especially one that leads to a recall. Neither can your customers.

Continuous processing increases food safety by reducing humans interaction with your product. In a fully automated, continuous processing system, the number of times an employee comes into direct contact with the food approaches zero.

Being more flexible

It used to be that batch processes were more flexible than continuous ones. This is no longer the case.

Today’s continuous processing equipment is highly flexible, enabling quick changeovers. For example, our spiral ovens can easily cook proteins, vegetables, and starches, and many of our customers use the ovens for all three of these products all in the same day. When you’re finished with one product, simply punch in the new recipe, and you’re good to go.

By being equipped to process multiple types of products, you’ll be in a great position to win more — and higher-value — contracts.

Providing higher throughput

Continuous processing enables higher throughput in a smaller footprint. If you can process more product, faster, you’ll have an immediate advantage over competitors that are limited by less efficient systems.

Scaling along with your customers

Say you score a contract to manufacture a new product. And then that product takes off and starts a new food trend. Your customer comes back to you and wants to increase the contract fourfold. Would you be able to handle it?

If you were using a batch system, the answer would likely be “no” — at least not without some serious scrambling. But, with a continuous system, you’ll have no reservations about signing on the dotted line.

As we noted in a recent article, 2017 is set to be a big year for small food manufacturers. By implementing continuous processing, you can put yourself in an excellent position to capitalize on the coming growth.

Read more about making the transition here: Moving from Batch to Continuous Processing: 4 Considerations for Small Food Processors