The food and beverage industry faces a myriad of challenges that are unique to the industry. The challenges become even more complex as a business grows. F&B ERP solutions help F&B enterprises address challenges and cater to the changing customer demands and regulations quickly and efficiently.
This article breaks down how F&B ERP can address the industry’s unique challenges and what are some factors to take into account when making Food & Beverages ERP selection.
Unique challenges of the F&B industry
This multibillion-dollar industry is undergoing massive changes with changing customer demands, industry innovation, and regulations. Due to the ever-evolving global trends, this industry faces a plethora of challenges. Below we have described the most cardinal ones.
Inventory management challenges
Inventory management is one of the most critical functions of this industry. As the industry deals with perishable products, finding out the most reliable inventory management tactics is very important.
A demand for greater transparency is one of the most crucial trends in the F&B industry. Consumers in today’s world are more conscious than ever, and they want to know where their food is sourced from, which components are going into their food products, and if their food is sustainable. These trends call for end-to-end traceability, which refers to the ability to track data on products.
Grocery delivery services and meal kit services are becoming increasingly popular with the growing usage of mobile applications. So F&B businesses need to keep abreast of the latest innovations and beat the challenges to deliver perishable products successfully.
F&B companies have to deal with some of the strictest regulations, and these regulations are constantly changing. FDA controls more than approximately 75% of the U.S. food supply. Therefore, businesses need to operate with accuracy and precision in order to prevent fines or expensive product recalls.
ERP technology can help the industry cope with all the above challenges. But before you start looking for ERP solution providers, you must know the issues it can help you with and which features to expect in a modern F&B ERP.
Features of a good ERP solution
A sound ERP system should be able to integrate with multiple systems, such as CRM or CMMS, which will allow you to locate all of your business data — such as production, compliance, inventory, and financial — into one integrated system. With this feature, your business analysis is improved, and you can make smarter decisions quickly based on the data insights.
Regulatory Compliance and Reporting
In-depth tracing and tracking are integral to food safety. As the rules and regulations in the F&B industry are pretty stringent, it is imperative to have a food ERP software solution that automates compliance with the laws and regulations. This feature enables product traceability and can identify and isolate a problem so it can be addressed quickly. This function is handy in the event of an audit inspection or product recall.
An ERP system performs several vital tasks. From production control to distribution scheduling to quality analysis, it can streamline several processes. The benefits include – assured accuracy and maximized workforce hours, which leads to more efficiency and cost savings.
Some process manufacturing features that are efficiently managed by ERP systems:
- Quality management – Checking for possible allergens, testing quality, inspections, and testing plans, etc.
- Shelf life – Modern ERP system’s automated alert mechanism notifies managers when products approach or exceed their expiration date.
- Sales and inventory management – An efficient ERP software system can help you manage stock efficiently, preventing both shortage and spoilage. Managers can gather crucial information about stock location and stock levels to replenish their stock to optimum levels on time.
- Recipe control – An ERP system can also control complex tasks, such as formula and quantity management.
An integrated ERP system ensures all the costs are recorded correctly, and information can be obtained in real-time. With a reliable ERP management system, managers can analyze their company information for data-driven decision-making.
ERP systems are accessible as both cloud-based solutions and on-premise solutions. While On-premise solutions require servers within the business facility, the cloud-based solutions can be accessed at any place with internet connectivity. Various subscription-based options are available in the market that you can choose based on your company’s unique requirements.
Vendor Maintenance and Support
ERP software is a significant investment that can boost your operations and ROI, so make sure the ERP vendor you partner with is able to offer all the necessary maintenance and technical support for seamless operations. Partnering with a reputable vendor will help avoid the possibility of your system becoming unsupported or out-of-date.
A reliable vendor would also provide the following assistance:
- Remote login support
- Regular system updates
- Support desk availability
- On-site maintenance and support
What challenges is F&B ERP capable of addressing?
Understanding the benefits of ERP for the Food and Beverages industry is the most crucial step to take before investing in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. A reliable ERP solution can help with:
- Product traceability
- Complying with regulations
- Quality control
- Management of – forecasting, inventory, planning, production, and logistics
- Management of all business processes using a single tool
- Making a business more cohesive and productive
ERP solutions can prove to be one of your most reliable allies to boost your business profits. It is a significant investment and addition to your business. Therefore, invest good time understanding its features, challenges and scope, and whether it aligns with your long-term and immediate business goals and vision.