You may have heard about the benefits that food and beverage manufacturers are receiving from enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). You’re probably convinced that ERPs could help your business to become more efficient and profitable. That’s a smart move because you’re right, an ERP will do just that!
But the ERP decision-making process can be intimidating, especially if you’re not familiar with the software. While every manufacturer can derive benefits from an ERP system, it’s essential to match one to your specific industry.
For example, the food and beverage industry is strictly regulated, and you’ll want to choose a system that is designed with the key functionalities that are uniquely appropriate for that marketplace.
These are the fundamental features you should look for in your ERP solution, whether you are upgrading your existing system or implementing it for the first time.
Arguably, the primary focus of food and beverage ERP is recipe management. Each ingredient in a recipe affects the taste and nutritional value of the product and affects what your consumers have come to expect. Having the capability to store and scale recipes is a critical feature, which allows for maintaining each recipe with a bill of materials (BOMs) that shows its physical properties, any revisions, and all production notes.
By maintaining your company’s traditional recipes or creating new ones, you’ll keep up with consumer demands with a comprehensive ERP solution. Your system will keep track of multiple versions of recipes and record any changes. It will document manufacturing instructions and quality control tests while allowing for the development of new formulas.
Finding a suitable inventory balance will contribute to a company’s success. Keeping too much inventory on hand is costly while having too little can prevent you from meeting your customers’ expectations. An ERP software solution helps you maintain the right inventory balance by supporting all of the operations that plan, organize, and control your company’s resources.
A quality ERP will monitor inventory balances, lots, serial numbers, and product information in real-time to ensure proper inventory levels. At the same time, your company will be reducing waste, tracking inventory flow, using rotation methods, and preventing overproduction, which will make your company much more efficient.
With any manufactured product, quality is mostly responsible for keeping customers happy. For food and beverage manufacturers, quality control ensures that your products always meet your company’s standards and your customers’ expectations. Lot traceability gives you the tools to track, trace, and document materials throughout the production process.
ERPs give food and beverage companies the capability to manage allergens, colors, maintain kosher and gluten-free standards, and other variables. Real-time monitoring with systematic quality control procedures lets your company respond to potential issues quickly by initiating quarantine procedures for items that fail inspection. Products are not released until you have completed all corrective actions.
Forecasting is essential for any manufacturing organization, but especially for food and beverage companies. ERP forecasts help them create an accurate budget, but they can also take into consideration other factors that are particular to the industry: seasonality and customer cycles.
The demand for certain products fluctuates with the seasons, and a food and beverage manufacturer must account for this seasonality. They must also be aware of their customers’ ordering cycles so they know how much of a specific product they must produce. All of the data that is integrated into the system is utilized to create accurate forecasts.
Lot tracking and traceability
With an ERP solution, the lot tracking and traceability functions provide complete supply chain visibility from the raw ingredients to the finished goods. Product safety will always be a priority in this highly regulated industry, and it is vital to building and maintaining customer trust.
Detailed records of purchase orders, bills of lading, labeling, and shipping documents allow the business to find potentially contaminated products quickly in case of a product recall. An integrated ERP system, along with systematic procedures, lessens the possibility of public safety issues, unexpected costs, and loss of consumer confidence that can result from unsafe products entering the marketplace.
The ERP experts at Decision Resources, Inc. are on standby to provide the information you need to streamline functions, improve productivity, and introduce and maintain an integrated and more efficient way of doing business within your food and beverage manufacturing environment. If you’re ready to take a step toward transforming your business with an ERP, please get in touch through our online contact form, call 412-562-9660, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.