Digital Transformation for the AgriFood & Beverage Industry

In May 2019, Lux Research released a report on the transformation of the digital agrifood and beverage industry. In their press release, Harini Venkataraman, the lead analyst of the report noted:

“More than in other industries, digitalization in food will be a common thread across the entire agrifood ecosystem to enable industry players to address consumers’ future needs. The fact is, food companies that resist the digital conversion will not be able to keep up with more digital-savvy innovators, and will face higher R&D costs, longer product development timelines, and shrinking market share.”

We couldn’t agree more. And clearly, first-level food processors agree, as we have seen an increased interest in our satellite crop monitoring capabilities in the past year.

The Lux report evaluates the value of digital transformation for the food and beverage industry by its ability to achieve one or more of the six enabling core outcomes and we are proud to have worked with customers across the globe to achieve success in each of these six areas.

Uncover Invisible Insights

As defined by Lux Research: Find an insight by analyzing a signal or set of signals that humans can’t easily interpret.

This is likely the most difficult outcome – finding something that can’t easily be interpreted – but this is at the core of everything we do at Geosys. We’ve frequently discussed how the advantage of satellite imagery is its ability to let us see what’s happening in a field before it’s visible to the human eye. The greatest risk factor to farming is the weather. The timing and degree of severity of a weather event can cause drastically different outcomes. Satellite imagery provides data based on signals the plant is sending – it reads the health of the plant in the moment. The plants send invisible signals often before visible signals can be seen.

Even when visible signals are obvious – such as the current wind damage to fields across the Midwest from the recent derecho – there are still factors that cannot be seen with the human eye. Monitoring the NDVI of these crops helps us understand if they will recover and to what degree.

To learn more about the science behind how we use satellites to monitor plant health, be sure to check out Understanding and Evaluating Satellite Remote Sensing Technology in Agriculture.

Predict the Future

As defined by Lux Research: Determine the most likely outcome of a future situation – a particular type of invisible insight

No Magic 8 Balls here. We pride ourselves on using scientific-grade data to run our proven analytics. Applications like our Agriquest tool provide a powerful combination of satellite and weather data with daily updates and a historical database that goes back at least 25 years. This enables us to compare a variety of datasets to best understand what is currently happening in the field and how that compares to past yields. This empowers analytics for our customers for yield and quality forecasting in addition to harvest planning.

Optimize

As defined by Lux Research: Find optimal setpoints given a set of constraints – a particular type of invisible insight.

When we combine customer data with our data analytics, we often find that 1+1=3. We can do this by integrating customer data into our existing tools, powering a customer’s platform with our Geosys APIs, or building a customized platform to meet the specific needs of a customer. This enables logistics fine-tuning.

We can also help customers answer specific questions, such as identifying the “right” place to grow specific crops. Whether it’s utilizing existing analytics or working to create, test and apply to new analytics, our team is ready to help your business optimize.

Upskill Humans

As defined by Lux Research: Grant humans a skill they didn’t have before.

We have worked through our 30+ years history in precision agriculture to upskill agronomists, and in commodities trading to upskill analysts. The needs of these groups are parallel to that of the food and beverage industry.

It’s helpful to have production estimates for key growing regions but Geosys takes it to the next level by telling companies exactly what will be collected at a farm level and when. Wherever the contract production is localized, we monitor it for production, quality and timing metrics – delivering insights to support logistics decisions at the plant or procurement, as well as to field support staff so they can focus their efforts where it matters most.

Make Information Accessible

As defined by Lux Research: Make information visible and apparent.

No one really enjoys syphering through endless rows of Excel data and trying to create pivot tables to make sense of it all (okay, we all know that one person who geeks out over these things, but you get our point). This is why we make data visual – so it is quick and easy to consume and understand. Dashboards, APIs and cloud-based applications make our data and insights available globally in a consistent manner, yet adaptable to the local context.

Geosys analytics dashboard for food and beverage, digital transformation

Insights are published for internal use while specific metrics can also be published for the benefit of consumers – such as sustainability metrics – to provide the level of transparency expected by all parties.

Automate

As defined by Lux Research: Eliminate or reduce human involvement in a process, task or decision.

High quality, accurate data can power a wide variety of analytics to automate processes. Automating data collection and insights calculations are the first steps to go through. We offer ready-to-go tools (such as Croptical) or corresponding APIs to build weather alerts or vegetation index change detection, which can be connected into third-party applications such as CropTrak for anyone who is ready to start.

Start Your Digital Transformation Today

The movement towards digital transformation in the food and beverage industry has already begun. Now is the time to start future-proofing your business. Contact us to learn how we can help empower your digital transformation or learn more about our capabilities.