Key Business Outlooks For 2024 (7/10): Tim Robb, Goodway Technologies

The year 2023 has brought more international turmoil, supply chain disruption and historic inflation all over the globe, putting a lot of pressure on the baking industry. Concerns about the availability of raw materials, the cost of energy, transport capacity, regulations, labor shortage and purchasing power had companies and professionals worried and looking for solutions.

That is what we see in these interviews with top managers from the most important industry players: the industry fought back and invested in research and development to provide sustainable solutions that address these challenges.

For 2024, representatives of some of the most important equipment and ingredients manufacturing companies talk in unison about sustainability, automation, energy-saving technology, traceability and working for the customers, to make sure their access to good bakery products is unhindered by the setbacks of the world. None of the viewpoints shared with us is lacking in hope, an essential attribute for a long-term winning business.

Conventional food production systems have enjoyed uninterrupted growth over the last few decades. While this trend is expected to continue in the short term, resource constraints may dampen expansion in the long term. Furthermore, the sector is increasingly ripe for disruption.

It is up to the bakers, transporters and retailers to find the right way to stay profitable and capitalize on the market opportunities that await them in 2024.

Tim Robb, Goodway Technologies, Executive Vice President of Revenue

Considering the market volatility, the bottleneck of resources, the energy crisis, the increasing prices and workforce scarcity, what does this past year look like for your company when you draw the line?
The line is positive in turns of the success we’ve had across the globe. The challenges you identified have been around for a few years now. Coming out of Covid, the issues with supply chain, increasing costs, and labour shortages have been global in nature. We’ve attempted to mitigate these challenges by working closely with supply chain partners, and customers to understand their needs, which in turn allow us to plan better, and continue to deliver the quality and service our customers expect. The dynamic of the bakery, snack, and packaged food market is changing, and the solutions we provide add immediate value to our customers production lines, helping them produce better products. So, even with headwinds, the market has grown, and long with that, the need for innovative cleaning and sanitation solutions.

What are your expectations for next year, keeping in mind the legacy of 2023, but also the current challenges?
We are very positive about the upcoming year. The market continues to shift to more convenient packaged foods, and we are working with our customers to make sure we have the solutions they need to meet volume, and cleanliness demands. Meeting the needs of our customers, while maintain the quality we are known for is important to us, so managing that expectation is vital.

How do you estimate the market will evolve and what is your priority list for 2024?
Continued focus on meeting the needs of our customers for automated solutions for cleaning, and sanitation. That not only includes continued development on our dry steam generation systems, and associated solutions, but also on specific technologies for keeping production environments clean. As our customer across the globe expand their offering, and grow their brands, keeping their products safe is their number one focus, and ours too.

Where did the growth opportunities come from and what is the most important lesson you have learned in recent times?
Global trends in consumer-packaged goods and more convenience foods have really been a large driver of the growth our customers see in the bakery and snack markets. Those trends aren’t going
anywhere. Additionally, oversight in cleanliness, and sanitation has become more, and more of a
focus, which is in line with the solutions we provide.

What do you consider to be the most valuable asset you have in 2024 as a company?
Our people! Goodway Technologies boasts some of the most passionate and dedicated team members in the world. We continue to build on our fundamentals of providing a fantastic, and rewarding workplace environment where employees make a big difference day in and day out.

As part of your growth strategy, how do you prioritize your investments versus your R&D efforts?

Read the rest of the story in the January / February edition of European Baker & Biscuit.

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