Challenges ERP Can Solve for Food, Beverage, and Chemical Manufacturers

July 9, 2020 | Process Manufacturing
automated production line

Many manufacturing companies are seeking to optimize the critical steps in their processes. As a result, their lead times, costs, and quality control efforts often suffer. Much of this is due to their inability to handle each step with maximum efficiency. Since full transparency during the planning and execution stages of production is one of the essential elements of getting the highest ROI, many businesses are hurting themselves by failing to accept and embrace the automation solutions that could improve them.

Food, beverage, and chemical manufacturers face some of the most complex issues: increasing quality and compliance pressures, demands for transparency, shrinking profit margins, and a changing workforce. For food manufacturers, there are growing consumer demands for product innovation and a host of potential channels to consider for their goods.

The need to automate has never been more apparent for these industries. It’s time for them to take a fresh look at how they are conducting their enterprises. And the first step in that direction is through an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system.

Here are some of the significant challenges that a quality ERP solution could help food and beverage manufacturers and chemical manufacturers overcome. 

Compliance and quality issues

Food and beverage manufacturers, in particular, must cope with label requirements that can change from region to region. Also, they must account for how those regulations are changing within those areas. Consumers and regulators expect these manufacturers to take a pre-emptive and responsive approach to quality and recall management. 

ERP systems allow full access to real-time production statuses while maintaining accurate inventory management procedures. Knowing where their products are at all times is invaluable whenever it becomes necessary to resolve quality and productivity issues and reduce liability risks quickly.

Innovation and transparency

Just as regulations are evolving, so are consumer demands. An increasingly health-conscious society is requesting changes such as plant-based protein (think about Burger King’s Impossible Whopper), fresher products, and new foods and drinks infused with CBD ingredients.

But product innovation is much more than keeping up with the latest trends. It also means satisfying customer requests for detailed product information that includes specifics such as the source of the ingredients and how environmentally friendly the product is.

Innovations and changes in the food industry are brought about through experimentation. Unfortunately, too many manufacturers are not getting the most out of their production and recipe management data.

Modern ERP solutions can help a research and development department to compare current recipes and processes with new combinations. This will give those teams the ability to uncover new recipes, products, and cost-effective formulas to meet customer demand while decreasing expenses.

Wasted resources and increasing costs

All of the expenses related to manufacturing delays and wasted funds are all but impossible to calculate without the right software to track them. ERP systems for the food, beverage, and chemical industries will help to ensure that all products are manufactured efficiently, which will reduce material waste and enhance quality. 

The software allows engineers and plant workers to document all the labor connected to production orders and the number of materials that were used, which will give them real-time cost analysis on any project. With this increased visibility, managers can make informed decisions about cost analysis and their production planning efforts.

This accurate data will help align operational costs with the company’s goals, but it will also help the organization reduce its carbon footprint by eliminating most paper transactions.

Engaging a dynamic workforce

Today’s consumers expect the latest in shopping experiences, so adopting online channels and offering more transparency is an excellent idea for any business. But it isn’t only consumers who are looking for this higher level of engagement. Modern workers also have those expectations from their employers. 

Employees want innovations such as mobile access, user-friendly solutions, embedded analytics, and artificial intelligence to help them be more effective at their jobs. Successful food and beverage manufacturers and chemical manufacturers have come to understand that they can maximize employee productivity (and increase their retention rate!) by creating an ERP-driven work environment that is aligned with the expectations of the modern employee.

At Decision Resources, Inc., we have been helping food and beverage manufacturers, chemical manufacturers, and manufacturers across industries, get the most from their business systems and technology for more than 30 years. Leverage our ERP Consulting expertise to help you gain valuable insights into your supply chain, boost your operational efforts, and manage your production effectively and efficiently. Contact us anytime. 

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