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Using financing to combat labor shortages in food manufacturing

By Amy Thomas in Industry Trends, Thought Leadership Posted June 1, 2022

person using tablet and AI in fieldThe manufacturing industry has been hit hard with labor shortages, making it imperative that companies find innovative ways to increase productivity with fewer people. Chuck Sharbrough, Senior Vice President and Director for Food, Beverage and Agribusiness at Key Equipment Finance recently wrote an article for Food Logistics that outlines how food manufacturers can conserve cash and remain competitive in this tight labor market.

“Using financing to invest in technological and related resources to safely increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage in a tight labor market can be key to longevity,” Sharbrough wrote.


Innovating with technology

In the article, Sharbrough highlights the things some companies are doing to combat the labor shortage including implementing automation, streamlining workflows and reconfiguring work spacephoto of Chuck Sharbrough, Key Equipment Finances to reduce the number of people needed. Technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems will help alleviate supply chain issues. Companies are also turning to efficiency audits that access operational workflows and then recommend technology that will allow them to do more with fewer people,” Sharbrough wrote. 

However, the drawback to these technology upgrades is they can be quite costly to implement, which is why Sharbrough suggests financing as an option for companies to automate their processes without a large cash outlay.

Financing can be customized

Sharbrough writes about the many types of financing solutions available with various structures and terms. Equipment leasing helps food manufacturers preserve cash or lines of credit for other investments, and also offers the ability to add or upgrade equipment during the term of the lease. 

Another financing solution Sharbrough highlighted is asset finance. With asset finance, food manufacturers and processors can have a 100% financed solution that covers everything including the equipment and the soft costs associated with it. 

There are also customized financing plans that can provide food manufacturers the ability to upgrade and automate while taking advantage of tax benefits. “Not all food manufacturers can utilize the full tax depreciation of their equipment assets. Leasing with a strong financing partner can unlock additional depreciable value in the form of lower payments.” Sharbrough wrote.

Selecting a finance partner

In addition to assessing the ROI and evaluating the details of each option, Sharbrough writes about the importance of selecting a finance partner. He says you can do this by asking the right questions. “Business owners should be bold in asking their potential financing provider the tough questions so they can truly evaluate and select the ideal team,” Sharbrough wrote. 

Sharbrough has more than 30 years experience in the food manufacturing and equipment finance industry and is based in Newport Beach, California. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email him directly at for more information.



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