AI in manufacturing: Co-innovation bringing advancements closer to the agritech supply chain

AI in manufacturing: Co-innovation bringing advancements closer to the agritech supply chain

While the biotech industry continues to grow, it can still learn from other sectors, particularly when it comes to collaborative drug discovery. Here is a perfect example of how co-innovation brought about exponential growth. 


With the rise of advancements in farming and produce handling, the need for decision intelligence platforms in modern agronomy is becoming more apparent. 

Many biotech and agritech firms have so much data at their disposal, but the tools needed to organize and structure this data for it to be useful are still being developed. 

The good news is that more industries that use these systems show promising results. One example would be how chocolate manufacturer Barry-Callebaut used AI platforms to improve the efficiency of their operations. 


Convergence of Physical and Digital

Barry-Callebaut wanted to optimize procurement and supply chain processes throughout its Southeast Asian operations. They brought in the expertise of Singapore-based Stemly, which offers a decision intelligence platform for automating forecasts and optimizing supply chain and financial processes. While they did have vast amounts of data that could have been used to make business decisions, Barry-Callebaut lacked the proper tools for organizing it. As a result of their close collaboration, the two parties were able to deliver a solution that ensures product quality and minimizes obsolescence, resulting in millions of dollars in savings through better produce handling.

With an open innovation partnership, a large corporation like Barry-Callebaut leverages its industry knowledge and scale to enhance the skills and innovation that can be brought to the table by Stemly.


Fruits Of Collaboration

Singapore is home to many multinational manufacturing powerhouses, including Barry-Callebaut. The manufacturing industry in Singapore is known to have an ecosystem that thrives on a culture of collaboration and partnership between startup players and multinational corporations based there. Singapore's producers are driven to collaborate with its booming startup ecosystem to develop new advanced manufacturing solutions. The convergence of traditional business processes and digital advancements has put Singapore at the forefront of advanced manufacturing solutions. 

Tech platforms like Stemly benefit from co-innovation and collaboration as they develop solutions that solve real-world problems. However, there is a cultural gap between the approach found in large corporations and the one in startups. It is also important that both parties acknowledge that working together entails building together. 


Building Trust 

Finding internal sponsors, aligning goals with stakeholders, and empowering the project team are only a few of the challenges Stemly and Barry-Callebaut had to face in their partnership. 

To foster a long-term collaborative relationship, Stemly and Barry-Callebaut delivered the project in multiple phases, starting with an annual procurement plan and then monthly and daily plans. Open communication and structured project management are essential for engagements to be successful. This created a win-win scenario for both companies.

Combining results and transparency while addressing issues in the process contributed to the success of Stemly and Barry-Callebaut's partnership. 

Essentially, it is a relationship that can benefit both sides enormously since startups have the opportunity to grow at pace while tackling real-world challenges at scale. On the other hand, multinationals have access to an ever-expanding pool of cutting-edge innovations and talent. As more partnerships like that between Stemly and Barry-Callebaut are successful, Singapore's co-innovation space will only gain momentum. Allowing these types of partnerships to develop not just in manufacturing but also in the field of medicine, especially in blockchain pharma. With open innovation platforms, companies can experiment with new ideas and co-create new solutions with startups, pilot-testing and scaling them within their organization.


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