Why Food Manufacturers Need Industry-Specific ERP

July 7, 2020 | Process Manufacturing
bakery production line

After you have decided to purchase an ERP solution, the search begins for the one that’s right for your food or beverage manufacturing business, which leads to a slew of other decisions. One of those (and arguably the most critical) is whether to choose generic or industry-specific ERP software. Fortunately, while other choices throughout the process can be challenging, the choice between a generic and specific solution is relatively evident.

For food manufacturers, which are part of a highly regulated industry, the benefits of an industry-specific solution are vital for addressing the requirements of compliance and traceability. The regulatory bodies that govern the food industry require comprehensive reporting on the processes. They also want guarantees of sufficient process controls in packaging, distribution, and traceability.

Here are a few points to consider as you prepare to purchase or upgrade your ERP solution. 

Industry-specific over generic ERP: The choice is clear

In the past, ERP vendors integrated a more all-purpose philosophy into their software solutions. This so-called “one size fits all” concept contained basic features and functionalities that applied to a broad range of industries. If the customer requested customized features, they were added to the generic system to address that specific need.

However, these solutions could not speak to the requirements of a particular industry so that companies could reap the benefits of a more complete and personalized solution. Because of this shortcoming, there began a move to industry-specific ERPs, which could take on an organization’s unique business processes without add-ons or customization.

Several surveys of industrial executives showed that two-thirds of them preferred industry-specific ERP solutions. It quickly became apparent that most of these executives no longer wanted generic, out-of-the-box systems. Instead, they were looking for solutions that incorporated the best practices and requirements for their particular companies and industry.

Why do food manufacturers need their own ERP software?

Like many manufacturers, food manufacturing is a complex and labor-intensive industry. But most of the similarities end there, as food manufacturing has little in common with aerospace or automotive manufacturing sectors. Having a quality ERP system in place that is designed specifically for the needs of food manufacturers can ensure that material requirements, planning, inventory management, and recipe control, among other factors, function properly.

Food manufacturers need a focused ERP solution that is set up to work for them, and an industry-specific system that handles all business processes will provide the following three benefits. 

  1. Food industry knowledge and experience integrated into the software. Industry-specific ERPs are created by industry experts who know the food industry’s compliance requirements, business methods, and the economic climate. They include crucial features in the software and the implementation process. And since the software is designed to meet the needs of the food industry, it will provide the advantages of increased speed and efficiency to food manufacturers. This expertise can also help identify problems in the existing manufacturing processes and propose swift resolutions. 
  1. Food and beverage manufacturers can save time and money. An industry-specific ERP is more natural to implement when created for a particular industry, saving companies valuable time and money, as well as additional resources. Because they understand the food industry’s specific needs and requirements, these expert ERP vendors can supply an implemented system, that includes training, on a shortened timetable. Since there is little or no need for add-ons or customizations, organizations save time and money on the implementation process. And the ERP solutions that have been designed for food manufacturers will simplify business and manufacturing processes with comprehensive reporting and enhanced workflows. 
  1. Industry-specific ERP contains functionalities and features that are unique to the food industry. A food-industry-specific ERP not only offers standard ERP capabilities but also provides features that are exclusive to the industry. For food manufacturers that includes offering a higher level of control in several areas, including: 
  • tracking materials throughout the production process
  • product safety and recalls
  • regulatory and compliance management
  • recipe preparation
  • quality control 

Industry-specific vendors are familiar with any regulatory changes or trends in the food industry, which ensures that their ERP software processes and functions will be kept up-to-date to support their clients. 

When it comes to industry-specific ERP, there are tremendous benefits. The ERP experts at Decision Resources, Inc. can provide the insights and information you need for a more efficient way of doing business within your food manufacturing environment, whether you are upgrading an existing ERP system or implementing a new ERP solution. 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 info@decision.com

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