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Updated by Charles Bystock on 09/28/2023
4 IT Priorities for CPG Manufacturing Success

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturing is a constantly evolving sector, with technology often driving change. As competition intensifies and consumer demands fluctuate, CPG manufacturers must adapt and optimize their operations to remain competitive. This means digitizing.

IT solutions have become essential components of an effective CPG manufacturing strategy post-pandemic. From improving the value stream and bolstering productivity to preserving quality and ensuring cybersecurity, IT priorities are now central to the success of CPG producers.

The value stream

Value stream management involves optimizing every aspect of the production process, from raw materials to delivery of the finished product. By focusing on technology investments that bring visibility to the value stream, CPG manufacturers can reduce waste, improve quality, and increase productivity.

Digitization plays a crucial role in achieving better results across the value stream. For example, inventory and warehouse management systems can help manufacturers keep track of inventory levels and optimize warehouse space. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can provide real-time data insights across different facets of the operation to shed light on optimization opportunities. More sophisticated investments such as digital twins and manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions can also help the value stream.


IT has a significant impact on the productivity of CPG manufacturing companies. Automation, robotics, and machine learning are all gateways to increased throughput and unit production. Automation of production lines reduces the need for labor and expedites production, while robotics can enhance precision, leading to higher-quality products and less waste. Machine learning analyzes production data to identify areas of improvement.

This confluence of technologies can unlock incredible production opportunities. By producing goods faster and more efficiently, manufacturers can increase output, meet growing customer demand, and boost the bottom line — all while reducing costly waste. The right productivity investments can position up-and-coming producers to capture more market share and give them a competitive edge — especially in a tight labor market.


Quality control

No matter the level of throughput or complexity of the product, quality remains paramount for any manufacturer. The right IT investments can bring better oversight to the quality-control process. For example, a quality management system (QMS) can help manufacturers maintain consistent quality standards by tracking a wide range of variables. Statistical process control (SPC) can provide real-time data insights to identify and correct production issues. At the root of it all, data analytics set the tone for better production standards by illuminating trends and patterns in production.

The ROI of these IT investments is limitless with enhanced customer satisfaction and a stronger brand reputation, as well as fewer costs associated with rework, returns, and warranty claims. Where compliance and regulatory requirements loom, quality-control technologies can help manufacturers avoid fines and legal issues by tightening the tolerance for what passes and what fails at the end of the production line.


A wealth of technological opportunities is available for manufacturers willing to embrace IT. But with opportunity comes risk — specifically, the risk of digitizing without a cybersecurity mindset.

CPG manufacturers are prime targets for bad actors seeking to ransom data. Each new expansion of IT infrastructure increases a producer’s potential attack surface. As they make the smart decision to prioritize IT, manufacturers must make an even smarter decision and marry cybersecurity considerations to this decision. Whether in-house or outsourced, a security-first strategy enables producers to focus on the benefits of their IT investments rather than worry about dealing with the fallout of a data breach, ransomware event, or another hack.

Digitization is the way forward

CPG manufacturers who prioritize IT investments will have a considerable advantage as manufacturing grows more competitive. Their ability to see into production, identify optimizations, improve quality, and maximize throughput will help them remain agile and adaptable. With the right IT priorities and a commitment to monitoring and managing their digital investments, CPG producers can thrive amid mounting manufacturing challenges.

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