Food In Canada

Advertorial: Overcoming food manufacturers’ barriers with digital transformation

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How a new suite of tailored solutions is making it easier for Canadian food manufacturers to gain the many benefits of going digital


Higher productivity, cost savings, better quality control, food safety and traceability – these are among the many benefits to be gained by Canadian food makers in using digital technologies.



But while leaders in Canada’s food sector are keen to begin their digital transformation journey, it’s something that’s generally easier said than done.


“We know from industry research that Canadian businesses – particularly manufacturing businesses – have been slower than those in other OECD countries to adopt digital transformation,” says Lori Darlington, Vice President, Small Business, Strategy & Partnerships for Business Financial Services at RBC.  “There are a number of issues we’ve heard about from clients that are holding them back. The three most common are: difficulties in finding the right solutions, sourcing the right providers and securing capital.”

Because the prospect of overcoming these critical barriers can seem overwhelming for any company, RBC has created Go Digital™ – a free, comprehensive program designed to help simplify a company’s digital transformation journey, delivered exclusively by RBC’s commercial salesforce. “It’s all about offering everything required under one roof,” says Darlington. “The latest technologies, the right financing and the best expert advice all in one program, so that companies are empowered to embark on their digital transformation with convenience and confidence.”


The faster Canadian food manufacturers can accelerate their adoption of critical digital technologies, the sooner they will start realizing the benefits. Digital transformation is affecting all industries, whether it’s healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture or retail, and RBC will be expanding the program to more industries in 2020, including retail and supply chain.


Technology benefits


To make sure Go Digital™ can deliver relevant, state-of-the-art digital solutions to businesses, RBC partnered with Microsoft.


“Microsoft’s extensive Partner Network consists of some of the most knowledgeable industry experts who can advise our clients on how advanced digital technologies can be harnessed to provide tangible business benefits,” Darlington explains. “These experts are fully immersed in the many uses of Microsoft’s newest advances – artificial intelligence, cloud business platforms, data analytics, blockchain and Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, among others.”


Environmental monitoring with Azure IoT, for example, can enable food manufacturers to cut waste and meet regulatory requirements by automatically monitoring and detecting temperature or humidity issues, allowing for problems to be corrected immediately. In addition, real-time monitoring of production lines results in reduced equipment downtime and better quality control.


Meanwhile, blockchain solutions can provide both a company’s customers and its suppliers with superior end-to-end supply chain transparency and traceability.


“In addition,” Darlington reports, “with the right cutting-edge software and technologies in place, labour-intensive and complex tasks such as management of food safety and compliance, recipe development and potential recalls are transformed into a streamlined process that takes a fraction of the time – and accomplishes more as well.”


A unique, all-in-one program for a streamlined experience


While there are other consulting firms and organizations in the market that can help customers with various aspects of their digital transformation needs, they are often limited in scope and their services can come with a substantial cost.


“In this setting, clients are also responsible for securing financing, which makes for a fragmented process,” Darlington explains. “In addition, many of these advanced technologies may come with different risk profiles that make it difficult to secure financing – especially when neither the technologies themselves nor the potential value they deliver are well understood.”


That’s why it was so important for RBC to develop Go Digital™ as one comprehensive and cohesive program. On the technology side, Go Digital™ participants are guided by a network of tech providers with deep industry expertise, and on the financing side, RBC experts provide the most suitable financing solutions based on a pre-vetting of the tailored technologies chosen.


“We have essentially created a seamless one-stop experience, offering you the chance to partner with best-in-field technology and banking experts who truly understand the value of digital transformation,” says Darlington, “We’re committed to ensuring that your digital transformation journey will be smoother, faster and less fragmented than if you were to go it alone.”


From farm to table and every space in between, technology continues to revolutionize the world we live in – but only if we step forward to harness its power.


“The market leadership and long-term sustainability of a business hinges on its ability to quickly find, embrace and unlock the value of transformative technologies for both its customers and employees,” says Darlington. “At RBC, we fully recognize this and developed this program so that our clients can start gaining the immense benefits of digital transformation as soon as possible.”


To learn more about RBC’s Go Digital™, speak with an RBC Commercial Account Manager.

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