Automated robot arm lifting food can to conveyor belt in food industry.

Only 23% of food and beverage leaders said they’re extremely familiar with smart manufacturing, compared to 48% of CPG leaders in home and personal care who said the same, according to the eighth edition of Rockwell Automation’s “State of Smart Manufacturing: CPG Edition.”

Based on the results of a survey of 216 CPG leaders in 13 countries — 38% of which were in the food and beverage sector with the rest in home and personal care — the survey explores how CPG companies are adopting smart manufacturing technologies to tackle industry challenges and drive their business forward.

More than half (52%) of surveyed CPG manufacturers said inflation is their greatest external challenge this year, followed by supply chain disruption (41%) and a shortage of skilled workers (38%). And many CPG businesses are using smart manufacturing to navigate these challenges:

  • Four in 10 said they were driven to adopt digital technologies by the need to minimize costs. 
  • More than a quarter (26%) said smart manufacturing helped the most with supply chain disruption. 
  • Nearly one in four said that smart manufacturing helped the most with their shortage of skilled workers, yet most (90%) CPG companies aren’t expecting to decrease their workforce due to tech adoption. In fact, nearly 30% said they’ll likely hire more workers. 

Other common reasons for embracing digital technologies were to improve quality (44%), keep up with the competition (42%), and adapt to rapidly changing consumer behaviors (40%). 

CPG businesses invested an average of about 21% of their operating budget on technology, most commonly investing in cloud technology (45%), supply chain planning (42%), and cybersecurity (41%). Nearly 80% see smart manufacturing as very important to their businesses’ future success.

For more insights on smart manufacturing adoption among CPG companies, see the full report

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