Innovation Insights - Articles and Reports

Skills to Tills - Following Joebot

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Publication date: 30/09/2019
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‘Follow Joe training’ is an American phrase that refers to a training tradition in which a new recruit follows veteran employee ‘Joe’ around to learn the ropes. According to Diane Wolf, former VP of Engineering at Kraft Foods, this isn’t effective anymore; “It’s the way we used to do things because Joe had been there for 20 years and the person Joe was training would be there for 20 years. But now, the Joes aren’t there very long, and the trainees aren’t there very long, so technology will need to be part of the solution.”

As the competitive landscape shifts in tandem with changing consumer desires, the food production system must change to meet new needs. It’s already under natural economic pressures, struggling to keep pace with consumption needs. To battle scarcity, react to climate changes, and meet the consumption needs of a growing urban population, the food production system will be rethought. That means the what, where, why and how of food production will be completely reinvented, and even stages of the food production system will shift. For example, product design will become more creative using new materials to create food; vertically managed portions of the system will convert to platform business models to improve efficiency; and distances between stages will decrease with technologically fuelled step changes in the economics of small scale growing methods. All these changes point to a very different food production system that evolves quickly to deliver on
new production needs.

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