Retail and food manufacturing sectors are currently facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 virus. Lockdown conditions, staff illness and travel restrictions are combining to affect food chain suppliers’ ability to keep up with the huge increase in demand. This uncertain situation has caused temporary shortages in a huge range of staple items leaving shelves empty, shoppers frustrated and scenes not seen in the UK since the war years.
How can canning companies respond to the COVID-19 challenge?
Canning companies are a vital part of the supermarket supply chain. By switching to 24/7 production, increasing line speeds, streamlining ranges to prioritise essentials etc, output can be increased by up to 20%, ensuring a steady supply of nutritional, affordable and healthy foods remain available to shoppers.
How to ensure operations can keep up with the new demand
The demand for canned goods during COVID-19 is huge and relentless. To ensure a reliable, unbroken supply to supermarkets, commercial canning companies will need to be meticulous in their planning and thorough in the maintenance of production equipment. The coming months are likely to present the canning industry with further challenges. Factory managers will need to think ahead and ensure all relevant machine spares and technical manuals are readily available. Remote engineering support from canning machine suppliers has been introduced to combat the challenges presented by COVID-19. This should be utilised to reinforce the skills available from in house technical staff
Managers must further ensure they have a well-trained team capable of maintaining their canning lines during this period of intense pressure. Service and lubrication should be stepped up in line with increased output speeds and thought should be given to replacing unreliable or outdated inefficient equipment.