Food Connex provides freedom of choice…

For over 25 years Food Connex has specialized in providing the food industry with innovative system and software solutions. Our industry leading food distribution software and food processing software offerings include Cloud and Premise based applications allowing food distributors and processors to choose the best fit for their business.

Customize the solution that is right for you from integrated systems and software designed to specialized needs of the food industry whether you're a farm to table co-op that must automate to continue growing, a distributor/processor using QuickBooks that needs additional power to manage food products, or a large scale processor/distributor looking for a totally integrated ERP solution.

  • Manage selling relationships with Cloud based tools for salesperson and customer order entry.
  • Protect your brand with automated traceability, instant recall reporting and lot tracking.
  • Control inventory in real-time with Recipe and Cutting production using integrated scales and washdown ready plant floor workstations to relieve ingredients or primals and receive and label finished goods with with GS1-128 compliant barcodes.
  • Improve customer service by eliminating shipping and catch weight invoicing errors using SWAMI to Scan Weigh And Measure Instantly during order fulfillment and invoicing.

Don't you find it unusual that with all the unemployment talk we hear of tons of jobs, especially in the Food Sector, not being filled? One of the obvious reasons is that most middle class unemployed people do not want to downgrade their job status. As one gal that runs an orchard in western PA. once said, "most Americans don't want to pick apples", but a more important factor of unemployment is what we talk about below. A mismatch between the skilled workers and the skills we need to fill jobs. Structural issues that take time to change, but you can still get what you need by changing the way you employ and challenge your workers.

Don't you find it unusual that with all the unemployment talk we hear of tons of jobs, especially in the Food Sector, not being filled? One of the obvious reasons is that most middle class unemployed people do not want to downgrade their job status. As one gal that runs an orchard in western PA. once said, "most Americans don't want to pick apples", but a more important factor of unemployment is what we talk about below. A mismatch between the skilled workers and the skills we need to fill jobs. Structural issues that take time to change, but you can still get what you need by changing the way you employ and challenge your workers.

Paul H-C

 In a recent article Joel Hans addressed the topic of the stigma associated with being a 'worker'.  The idea that a job you do 'with your hands' is lower class than 'high tech' jobs.

Even though I've talked with hundreds of manufacturing professionals, and am very familiar with their success, the term "worker" has a negative connotation to me. It's almost impossible to break, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The semantics of work are indoctrinated into each new generation. - Joel Hans, Managing Editor

We set certain expectations for personnel and associated certain words with those expectations.  So here is the challenge.  When you're looking to fill a vacant position on your dock; do you take out an advertisement for a dock worker or an entry-level material handling specialist?

 The answer is:  It depends on what you expect of them and of your company.  

 Today's economy is tricky.  We have an unemployment rate above 9%, we're seeing more than four applicants for every job opening, but we have more than 3 million unfilled jobs...how is this possible?

PBS NewsHour attributes much of the concern to a pool of unemployed American workers who do not have the skills required to fill those positions and the reduced number of 'humans' to get the work done as companies automate to stay competitive.  This is what economist Zachary Karabell refers to as 'structural unemployment':

PAUL SOLMAN: By structural unemployment, economist Zachary Karabell means that, because of the progress of technology and globalization, lots of our old jobs are gone, and new ones require skills that many just don't have.

Drew Greenblatt:  The only way my employees can exceed the productivity of a Chinese worker or Vietnamese worker is if they have -- if they're harnessing a tremendous asset, like a robot, which makes them much more productive. So they're 40 and 50 and 60 times more productive than a Chinese worker. That's the only way it's going to work.

 Now let's pull this back to companies in the food industry.  In order to remain competitive and grow your food business in today's economy you need to do more with less, and the only way to accomplish this is to automate.  We're still a few decades out before the cost justification of robots works it's way down to our level but there are a number of processes that can be automated simply and cost effectively.

 And that's where the difference between hiring a 'dock worker' and a 'entry-level material handler' can come into play.  You must set the expectation that the position will grow and responsibilities will evolve.  Thomas Maloney of Cornell University does a nice job outlining how to do this in Employee Recruitment and Selection: How to Hire the Right People.  

When you advertise for a position a 'worker' will fill there is a negative bias associated with it that the job is a 'dead-end'.  The applicants you attract will reflect this.  If you advertise to fill an 'entry-level' position there is a positive bias that the job will evolve and grow.  Same position, two radically different attitudes towards it.  Make sure you use the right languages so and your new hire will be on the same page moving forward.



Issue 587 - Location, Location, Location

I hope everyone had a great 4th, just relaxing by the pool or the shore guys at the beach.  Right before the holiday I read the Philadelphia Inquirer business section's article about warehousing. The Eastern Pennsylvania transportation corridor has seen explosive growth due to the way products need to be delivered: quickly, safely, and inexpensively while minimizing the carbon footprint.

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