For food and beverage businesses like yours, growth is always a goal. This might entail specific objectives—like boosting profitability or expanding your product lines—but the aim at the end of the day is to make progress, improve and succeed in the long-term.
Of course, growing is much easier said than done in such a competitive industry, and there are plenty of hurdles to clear as your organization moves up in the world. There is no single strategy that will allow you to overcome all these challenges with ease, but there is a tool that makes it all much simpler, and that’s food enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
Regardless of where your company is in its journey—whether you’re researching the basics of food ERP or already have a good understanding of what you need—finding a system that suits your operations will equip you for the future better than nearly any other initiative could. But how do you know when to undertake the implementation, and what are the key benefits to these solutions that make them so impactful?
Let’s first dive into the “warning signs” that indicate you need a robust, industry-specific ERP system.
Early on in your business’s lifecycle, your employees likely used pen and paper or basic bookkeeping software to collect data, record transactions and track performance. But if you’ve ever struggled with an operator’s messy handwriting or finding the right version of a spreadsheet, you know just how imperfect these methods are.
Food ERP software provides everything your organization needs to modernize and get past the following major growing pains:
No single source of truth; answers to critical questions are different depending on who you ask
Decreasing yields and increasing waste due to inefficient processes
Missed or incorrect deliveries leading to poor customer satisfaction
A lack of reliable projections leading to overly cautious inventory retention and reduced capital
Limited access to critical information with maintenance-intensive on-premise hardware
Uncertainty in the face of food safety emergencies and recalls
Whether some or all of these symptoms are causing issues for your company now, they will only become worse going forward unless you take the time and make the effort to future-proof your operations. Let’s next explore the ways in which food ERP software can help you do just that.
We mentioned before the difficulties a business can experience when information is not clear and accessible, and this can be exacerbated when different departments and teams within an organization have their own siloed approaches and processes for maintaining and updating data. Wouldn’t a single, unified platform be the best solution for all involved?
Luckily, that’s just what food ERP software provides. The system will be the go-to source for all of your employees when they’re carrying out their responsibilities or seeking an answer to their questions. The cross-functional nature of these systems means unparalleled visibility of important metrics and the elimination of information barriers, not to mention fewer errors due to miscommunication or inaccuracies.
With food ERP software, not only are all of your facts and figures in one place, but they’re also up-to-date based on the very latest readings and reports. This real-time element of the platform allows your business to move with agility and confidence that everyone is on the same page and the information in the system is accurate.
Making decisions based on outdated data can have disastrous consequences, but an ERP solution ensures you’ll never face that predicament. You’ll be able to head off issues before they become emergencies and capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. And if you need to monitor certain processes carefully, you can do so from anywhere that you can access the interface.
Speaking of access, the best food ERP software will allow for deployment from the cloud, giving your company another level of flexibility when it comes to where and how work gets done. Salespeople on the road will have all of the latest info that they need, and in-depth analysis can be done from just about any location with a decent WiFi signal.
Cloud setups for ERP systems also take the burden of system maintenance and updates off your organization’s plate and save you money on expensive hardware. And while on-premise platforms can suffer huge setbacks in the event of power outages, security breaches and natural disasters, cloud interfaces are backed by redundant servers and excellent security.
Whereas a proprietary system or generic ERP solution is typically built to suit a business of a certain size, food and beverage industry-specific ERP software is designed with the understanding that organizations like yours expand and change over time, so they have the ability to scale with you.
Whether it’s new facilities, more employees or entirely new product lines, advanced systems like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP are easy to adapt to many different situations. Proper training and a thorough, deliberate adoption process are necessary to get the most out of these solutions, but when properly implemented, purpose-built ERP is a perfect fit for unlocking better results.
Not all food ERP software is created equal. The previous section alluded to the importance of finding a system that is designed for food and beverage businesses, and it’s also critical that the vendor of the system really understands the industry and has experience working with organizations like yours.
At Aptean, we pride ourselves on serving as a long-term partner for our clients. And with decades of experience in all food and beverage sectors, we know the challenges that your company faces as it navigates this complex and fast-moving marketplace.
Want to hear more about Aptean Food & Beverage ERP and our other best-in-class offerings? Contact us today.