Today’s supply chain issues, difficult economic conditions, soaring inflation and geopolitical risks are affecting all businesses across the board. In addition, food and beverage companies face several additional unique challenges. This article looks at how food & beverage ERP software can help food and beverage companies streamline their operations, manage their resources efficiently, enhance overall business performance and address the unique challenges of the food & beverage industry.
Supply Chain Issues
The Coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns played havoc on global supply chains. On top of this, global food & beverage supply chains have been severely affected by the war in Ukraine, a major global grain producer. This has led to food shortages and consequent changes in demand. With all these disruptions improving resiliency is a critical focus for food & beverage companies. Food & beverage ERP software can help companies become more resilient by improving supply chain visibility, improving demand forecasting, and better managing inventory to mitigate the impact of supply chain shocks and other disruptions.
Food safety and compliance regulations have become increasingly more onerous as a result of a number of factors. The globalization of supply chains with ingredients sourced across various countries and regions and cases of deceptive labeling, have led to more complex verifications and chain of custody concerns. Public health concerns exacerbated by the recent pandemic have heightened awareness and led to more regulation. Further, food-borne diseases, increasing allergen-related issues and the rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related health issues are prompting more stringent restrictions and tighter labelling standards. Food & beverage ERP software centralizes records management and helps food & beverage companies manage their safety and compliance issues.
Seasonal fluctuations, changing consumer preferences, and unexpected events are leading to unpredictable demand patterns. Shortages and soaring inflation affecting food & beverage products have also created demand instability as consumers substitute products. Food & beverage ERP software assists in demand forecasting and production planning to balance supply and demand effectively.
Complex Inventory Management
Food & beverage companies have complex inventory management issues that include dealing with perishable items, expiration dates, catch weight pricing, and food processing and yield management. Superior inventory management can help with ensuring availability of raw materials and ingredients, maximizing product freshness and minimizing food wastage. Food & beverage ERP systems can help with these critical food & beverage needs by maintaining real-time inventory tracking, picking by expiration date and automating repurchasing.
Product Quality and Recipe Management
For the food & beverage industry maintaining consistent product quality across batches and locations is essential. This requires careful management of recipes and product formulation. Food & beverage ERP software can help with standardizing recipes, improving uniformity, standardizing food processing across multiple locations, and reducing errors in these important areas.
Lot Traceability and Recall Tracking
Given the heightened focus on food safety and compliance, in the event of food contamination, the ability to identify all affected batches and quickly initiate and manage product recalls is essential. Food & beverage ERP software with lot tracking can improve traceability and facilitate quick and efficient product recalls, reducing exposure and liability.
Rising costs of raw materials, labor, and energy are putting pressure on food & beverage profit margins. Food & beverage ERP systems enable better cost tracking, budgeting, and analysis to identify cost-saving opportunities. Using ERP systems to re-engineer business processes can improve efficiency, reduce costs and help with labor shortages Also, ERP systems that include business intelligence and data analytics can help understand cost relationships that may not be immediately apparent, allowing these to be addressed.
Getting the best terms and availability of quality ingredients and raw materials can be challenging given supply chain issues. Diversifying vendor networks and managing and evaluating vendors’ performance are critical to creating resiliency and ensuring quality inputs. Food & beverage ERP systems provide the tools for broadening vendor networks and obtaining the best terms and availability of ingredients and raw materials.
Food & beverage operations involve raw materials management, production, distribution of finished products and logistics. Integrating all these processes, particularly for multiple-location businesses, can improve control and cut costs. Food & beverage ERP systems that are cloud-based with high availability and easy updates are critical to facilitating this kind of integration.
Food & beverage companies have historically lagged in harnessing technology. Many food & beverage companies suffer from siloed systems and manual methods. Putting in place the right food & beverage ERP software can help these companies with the various aspects of food and beverage operations, from supply chain management, vendor management, production and quality control, inventory management to financial management. Accolent ERP is a leading Cloud-based solution for food & beverage companies.