The global fish industry has become an incredible source of livelihood for masses across the world. As per the statistics obtained by the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, the global fisheries and aquaculture production reached approximately 171 million tons (here, the amount of fish capturing and fishing at sea reached nearly 91 million tons) in 2016, and that made fish and seafood rank among the highest traded food commodity. 88 percent of this was meant for direct consumption.
Factually, the annual rate of growth of food fish consumption has exceeded the meat consumption from that of all terrestrial animals combined. Besides, the fishing industry is also playing a vital role in providing jobs and food to the world by capturing fishes and aquaculture. Moreover, the fisheries and aquaculture are predicted to expand further in the coming years. However, there is a need of sustainable aquaculture development and effective fisheries management to maintain stability and enhance the further growth of these industries. Evidently, the fish stocks have been reported to be consistent and even exceeded above the target levels or rebuilding.
The Top Challenges in the Fish Industry and Their Digital Resolution
The new era of technological innovation has presented a host of great opportunities to protect the oceans, maintain healthy fish populations, feed billions of people around the globe, along with the protection of livelihoods of around 260 million people as well adapt to the impacts of climate change. However, technology is not the self solution to the global fishing crisis, but it serves as a catalytic element for the modification of fisheries practices and policies.
Some of the biggest fish industry challenges and how digitalization has helped companies overcome them have been discussed in detail below.
Challenge No. 1: Procurement of Fresh Fish
Most of the companies commonly buy their fish stocks from the fish industry to obtain fresh goods from wholesale markets, and it is the most common version of standard practice. In many cases, the buyers have to travel early in the morning to the fish markets held near the coast to procure the best quality fish stock. Many of the buyers even have their own sites near the coast. This is the procedure that has had been followed in the past, and it is absolutely simple; choose the stock, place a bid over it and then buy it.
But there is a little inconvenience here; the company gets to know about the purchase only after the purchase lists are being sent by the buyers. This process can be made simple and convenient if the buyers are directed to make online entries of all the purchases on a daily basis over the platform or ERP system provided by the company. The outcome of digitization is that all the data is being maintained in the company’s website, and the efficiency gain is also conveyed to the company accurately. Besides, this also offers the opportunity to refine the precision of production scheduling. Moreover, digitization also lets the companies save their time meanwhile facilitating them to utilize their resources in a more batter better way at better places.
Challenge. No. 2: The Distribution of Fish Products
The digital solution that has been discussed above for the procurement of fish stock is also applicable and effective for the efficient and seamless distribution of fish products. The staff in this department are linked to the company’s ERP software by making use of Mobile Enterprise Resource Planning (M-ERP). The field service employees are equipped with laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other relevant gadgets. This equipment enables them to dial in to the central system instantly and conveniently by using a secured connection. As a result of which, the customers’ required quantity can be directly checked over the system whether it is in stock or not.
In addition to that, accurate costing can also be quoted to the customers digitally and in real-time. This facilitates the confirmed commitments regarding stock availability, costing, and delivery. Austrian Eisvogel GmbH implemented this digital tactic, and according to the CEO: The digital field service solution facilitated the company to save its resources in the back office. The company was able to save 1.5 to 2 hours for order entries as the customers were allowed to place their orders online directly.
But in order to work effectively, this strategy is supposed to be an all-encompassing integration covering rather than just being confined to sales and purchasing only. Let’s take the example of Eisvogel again; it has used the ERP system in all its proceedings, from placing orders for raw material to packaging and customer-specific labeling as well as the route planning of entire logistics.
Challenge. No. 3: Secure Traceability of Fish Products
In order to smoothly facilitate the tracing process, it is necessary to have a digital organization of information. The incorporation of digitization in the proceeding and maintenance of stock details aid the tracking of any information related to the company’s stock. In case of any complaint regarding the stock, all the information can be obtained by a few clicks if there is the incorporation of a digital solution, i.e., a traceability function integrated into the ERP system. But here, it is a prerequisite to update the ERP system with relevant and up-to-date information. When the pool of information has been established successfully, the details for any event can be recalled instantly.
Challenge. No. 4: Reducing the Cost in the Certification Process
These days, authentication is the real deal in every field. In this industry, the demand for transparent certification of fish stocks by retailers is a norm. However, all of it costs a significant amount.
All of the renowned certified labels for fish stock are only awarded after the passing of a stringent audit. Now, all of this requires extensive paper-based documentation, which obviously costs a fortune. In such a scenario, a software-aided certification process is a convenient option that reduces the work and reduces the cost.