Fresh produce businesses like yours face a variety of challenges that are completely unique to the sector. As an industry professional, you know well the hurdles that the growers, packers and distributors of the world must clear to compete in this dynamic and complex marketplace.
As such, you may be on the lookout for improvements that can help you better manage these fresh produce-specific concerns. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can be a great fit for organizations that want to take a significant step forward in their digital transformation, but simply shopping around and picking the one that “feels right” isn’t going to cut it for your situation.
Put simply, that’s because a generic ERP platform won’t have all the tools that your company needs. You need a produce ERP—that is, a solution built with purpose and designed for fresh produce companies like yours, complete with the functionalities necessary to tackle your biggest concerns.
So, what specifically should you be looking for in a produce ERP?
When it comes to evaluating ERP systems and their fit with your operations, you need to identify your critical processes, how they can be improved and what results you’re hoping to achieve. That should help you weed out the offerings that simply won’t suit your needs.
Here are some of the fresh produce-specific tools that you should keep an eye out for during your evaluation process:
Unparalleled supply chain visibility – You need a complete view of the movement of your materials at every stop, from source to consumer and all critical tracking points (CTPs) along the way. A fresh produce ERP will allow you to collect and maintain all necessary information in one integrated database.
Excellent quality control measures – Harness the power of automation and integration with smart devices to make sure that your produce is up to your quality standards. From color and texture to shape and size, all important characteristics can be assessed, and anomalies can be flagged. You’ll also have complete control and visibility over certificates where applicable.
Uncompromising traceability tools – It’s vital that you always know where your produce came from and where it’s headed, as well as what condition it’s in along the way. The right solution will give you the peace of mind that you’re prepared in the case of a withdrawal or audit all relevant records ready at a moment’s notice.
Robust inventory and warehouse management – In order make smart purchasing decisions you always need to know exactly what’s in stock—a produce ERP makes that easy. You’re able to cut back on waste by making sure that your produce is shipped at the right time and hits store shelves at the peak of freshness.
Enhanced consignment capabilities – This should allow you to trace a consignment of produce from intake through shipment. You’ll always have all of the details on quality, configuration and costs at the touch of a button. The granularity of this information will also help you get precise cost tracking figures so that you can price your goods accordingly.
Grower/producer portal – Get a complete picture of producer activities and take advantage of collaborative planning modules that capture quality view, pack out view and shipment notifications. With the right system, you can even access important contract information easily directly through the interface.
Advanced projection tools – Preparing for the future is key, so having reliable demand forecasts, as well as models that can use weather data to project your production, is critical. With that information at your fingertips, you can make decisions with confidence based on accurate estimations.
Farm administration functions – Keep tabs on the ownership and activity on parcels of land, including the crops grown there, to make sure your sourcing records are as accurate as possible. And easily integrate with all facilities so that you have a clear understanding of their assets and forecasts in real time.
Full mobile access – Your employees need to be able to input data and retrieve key information whether they’re on-site, on the road, in the field or at the farm. And because internet connectivity can’t be guaranteed at some remote growing locations, the system should automatically update with new information collected offline as soon as the connection is restored.
If you’re looking for a produce ERP that checks all of these boxes, you need not look far—Aptean Food & Beverage ERP delivers everything you need. Designed by a team of industry experts who know the challenges that fresh produce businesses like yours face, it comes with all of the above features out of the box. This means you don’t have to waste time, effort and money customizing a general solution to your needs. Instead, you can be up and running in no time, gaining benefits from day one and ROI as quickly as possible.
Reach out to us today to learn more about what Aptean’s best-in-class offerings can do for your fresh produce organization.