Canadian Manufacturing

Food & beverage and transport industries confident in innovation, BDO reports

60 per cent of food & beverage and 58 per cent of transport executives believe technology will help them increase efficiency and reduce costs, according to BDO Canada's study on trends in the two industries

March 17, 2017  by Canadian Staff

TORONTO—Canada’s food & beverage (F&B) and transportation, warehousing and distribution (TWD) industries continue to face many challenges, but 60 per cent of F&B and 58 per cent of TWD businesses believe innovation and technology will help them increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.

This is according to BDO Canada’s 2017 Industry Insights: BDO’s Focus on Transportation and Food and Beverage Report, which garners opinions from more than 150 senior personnel and decision-makers in the F&B and TWD industries.

The report, published by the global accounting, tax and advisory firm on Mar. 16, found that despite increasing competition and market volatility, leaders in both industries expect technology to streamline inventory management and create significant logistical advantages.

Government regulations remain problematic for both sectors, with 57 per cent of F&B and 64 per cent of TWD leaders citing cost of regulatory compliance as a major stressor to their businesses.


Many respondents observed that the negative impact of regulation disproportionately affects smaller companies, providing an advantage to larger companies.

Recruiting also remains a key challenge across the board, with 49 per cent of F&B respondents reporting difficulties finding experienced employees, and 23 per cent of TWD respondents reporting difficulties finding skilled employees to replace retirees.

“Companies who are slow to innovate simply won’t be able to compete in today’s business climate. Incorporating technology can help increase productivity, lower costs and streamline processes, providing companies with a critical competitive edge needed to remain relevant on a global scale,” said Marcus Sconci, leader of BDO’s National Transportation, Distribution and Warehousing group.

Overall, the survey identified several key strategies needed to remain competitive in a fluctuating economy:

  • modernizing operations
  • retaining talent
  • staying ahead of regulations
  • cutting costs
  • accurately predicting changing consumer preferences and population growth,
    making use of industry research and insights

Read the full BDO survey here.

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