Ideally, your ERP system will have all the functionality your business needs so customizations and workarounds won’t be needed. You’ll also need seamless integration with key systems like your business to business (B2B) ecommerce platform, production, warehousing and distribution.
Your F&B business requirements
It’s important to be aware that many ERP systems are designed for the most general business processes. They might not work well in the F&B environment. Create a checklist of your top priorities, such as:
Accounting and operations – margins in the food and beverage sector have always been tight. The rising costs of raw materials and inflation are also affecting the spending power of your customers. Real time information about all aspects of your business will help to improve your operations. Integrating an ERP solution with inventory, purchasing and sales processes will also minimize human data entry errors. This will give you the complete picture you need.
Compliance – stringent regulations make quality control a priority. Integrating your quality control functions with your ERP system will save time and simplify your compliance and reporting processes. You can also improve management of your supply chain and quality control data.
Production and storage – F&B products with limited shelf-life require a clear and reliable view of production and storage. You can then receive alerts when products are reaching their expiry dates. Data about spoilage, packaging damage and potential contamination will all help you improve performance and profitability and minimize waste.
Warehousing – the time your products spend in your warehouses is unprofitable for your business. You will want to maintain peak efficiency from use of space to picking, packing and despatch. Stock tracking and management are essential to meet demand, ensure food safety, build brand value, and support business growth. State-of-the-art warehouse management systems and processes will help you optimize your performance.
How your ERP system supports your business
The F&B sector is critically sensitive to market trends and supply chain disruptions. Information about the availability and cost of raw materials, environmentally sustainable distribution, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are key considerations.
Accuracy – an ERP system helps you manage and streamline everything from procurement and finance to human resources and marketing. Most importantly, it provides a single source of accurate and reliable information about your key business operations. You can track ordering via your B2B ecommerce platform, electronic data interchange (EDI) or through your field sales team. Reliable stock availability, prices, and shipping information can all be provided online.
Consumer preferences – consumers are more aware than ever of the environmental and health implications of their food and beverage choices. You will need to respond by showing how you are reducing your carbon footprint and supporting producers. Your ERP can help you consolidate data from many sources into useful reports for both internal use and external reporting.
Regulations – the regulatory landscape is continuously changing across the F&B sector, creating significant administrative overheads. Compliance failures can be damaging to your brand and costly if they result in fines. Your ERP will help you collect and monitor key data to help you meet your obligations.
The organizational benefits of an ERP in the F&B sector
You will want to set clear and measurable goals when choosing an ERP system for your food and beverage business. This will give you confidence that you are achieving a good return for your investment.
You can manage business performance more effectively when you share accurate and reliable near real-time information across your organization. You can plan for growth with confidence and improve efficiency to reduce your working capital requirements. Other benefits include:
Costs – you can quickly highlight opportunities for cost reductions.
Performance – companies that implement an ERP system can reduce process times, helping to optimize performance.
Agility – accurate information helps companies to make data-based decisions quickly and with confidence.
Efficiency – with a clear overview of business operations you can reduce duplication, improve production efficiency, and reduce costs.
Customer service – information about orders, inventory levels, and delivery times can be automated to reduce order status requests.
Traceability – to meet food safety regulations and to maintain quality your ERP system can track products throughout the production cycle.
Automation – inventory management, product tracking, and order management are all time-consuming tasks. You can free up resources for other activities through automation using internet of things (IoT) devices and B2B ecommerce self-service.
Collaboration – with a reliable shared source of information your internal teams and suppliers can collaborate more effectively. They can build better relationships and improve communication.
Production – the complexities of recipe and formula management can be more easily managed when your ERP supports process change modeling.
Quality – information such as temperature or consistency can be added directly to your ERP system via sensors. Automatic triggers can then highlight when pre-defined thresholds are reached.
Allergens – your ERP system can also help you to manage stringent requirements for isolation of specific ingredients.
Seamless business systems and processes
Cloudfy is a leading software as a service (SaaS) B2B ecommerce solution. It’s designed to help your growing food and beverage business to simplify, save and scale.
With our extensive experience of B2B solutions, Cloudfy is a cost-effective way to seamlessly integrate with your ERP solution.
To find out more book a free Cloudfy demonstration.