Technology has always been a priority to THP. Because of this, we have propelled our business to greater heights. As a company, we’ve always had open discussions on how to best scale up – to be prepared for growth and the next shift in demand. My father wisely knew that as THP grew, it would only be able to compete with the multinationals by deploying the same or better technology.
Granted, my father’s entrepreneurial spirit and fascination with all things engineering meant that he was more than happy to travel far and wide and experiment with the best technologies available. This isn’t always the feeling and desire of other entrepreneurs. While you may not get excited about finding and implementing the next best thing, it’s important to understand how critical technology will inevitably be for your business, even if it means taking a risk.
For us, that risk was introducing aseptic technology. This means that now our whole bottling process is conducted in a sterile environment using clean rooms, bacteria filters, and dry or steam heat. This not only maintains the maximum number of nutrients, but it also enables the products to be preservative-free because they keep for longer periods of time.
Deploying aseptic technology was a bold move. Many of our competitors thought it would financially ruin us, since one aseptic production line cost three times more than a conventional one. It was a steep learning curve, and it took three years before THP achieved acceptable yields for that first aseptic production line. To date, we have invested $300 million across seven aseptic lines. When all the current factories are operational, there will be ten lines, each capable of producing up to forty-eight thousand bottles per hour. It has been a worthwhile investment. It is a perfect example of the value of technology outweighing the cost to implement it.
For your business and in your industry, there are technologies that will help your business grow and provide a competitive advantage. Leverage your ability to be nimble and agile as a local business to bypass the bureaucracy that larger multinationals go through to integrate new processes. Invest in the technology that will help you compete, and in some cases, beat your competition.
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