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How Industry-Specific Food ERP Serves a Variety of Sub-Verticals
How Industry-Specific Food ERP Serves a Variety of Sub-Verticals
8 Nov 2022Aptean Staff Writer
We all know that “variety is the spice of life.” Whether we’re choosing what to have for dinner or which snack to grab on the go, as consumers we appreciate the vast choice of food and beverage products available to us. However, for professionals in the industry, choice can be a daunting prospect, especially when it comes to making large investment decisions like which enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to choose.
That said, you can’t afford to let the challenge of narrowing down your options among the various ERPs on the market hold your organisation back from engaging in digital transformation. To make it in today’s competitive landscape, you must choose the right technology—and in order to do that, you need to find the answers to some critical questions.
Whether you’re choosing your very first food ERP or already have some experience and just need to take the next step, you may be asking yourself: “Can every vertical within the industry benefit from the same systems? Will a generic food and beverage solution meet our specific requirements or fall short by trying to be applicable to everyone? Do solutions for our vertical even exist?”
In this blog, we aim to bring some clarity to the issue of choosing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for food and beverage businesses. We’ll talk a little about the benefits of seeking out software with capabilities designed for the challenges of your individual vertical and then dive into some of those sectors in detail. And to ensure you’ve got everything you need to move forward with confidence, we’ve included a range of resources for your next steps.
Generic ERP Versus Specialised Food ERP
To start, it’s worth noting that not all ERP systems are created equal. On the market you’ll find the full range—from low cost to high investment, basic functionality to sophisticated capabilities, generic features to purpose-built tools—but not every solution is right for your business.
Of course, there are multiple factors you’ll need to take into account when comparing food and beverage ERP solutions, but for such a complex industry, we’d recommend choosing a system that is designed from the ground up to suit the specific challenges you face each day. Whether that’s ensuring food traceability, mastering inventory management or guaranteeing food safety and compliance, your unique challenges require tailored solutions.
While generic ERP solutions can offer a “quick fix” to get you up and running, it’s highly unlikely that they will deliver the long-term benefits that an industry-specific food ERP with tailored capabilities for your vertical can provide. And that’s not even mentioning the potential need for costly modifications to ensure a generic ERP meets your objectives, or the time-consuming workarounds that your staff may have to perform in order to achieve the same results you could get out-of-the-box with a specialised solution.
So, with all that being said, let’s take a look at how industry-specific solutions can benefit various verticals within the food and beverage industry.
The bread and bakery industry is dominated by a need for “freshness.” This of course, encompasses the literal need to deliver your products to your customers during the peak quality window, but also the consumer desire for innovation, with a variety of products that follow new trends, offer extra indulgence or satisfy health concerns. Add to these challenges a host of operational requirements including inventory management, strict allergen concerns, the need for flexible production capacity and the management of co- and by-products, and the necessity of tailored software is clear.
So, what can a bakery ERP bring to the table? For starters, the right system will help you establish end-to-end control standards across your organisation, ensuring food safety and compliance. In addition, the software offers features to streamline the recipe and batch management in order to increase efficiency, reduce food contamination and meet regulatory requirements in this area.
The best ERP systems for bakeries also provide advanced forecasting and production planning tools allowing you to balance supply and demand considerations more precisely. With an advanced solution on your side, you’ll always have clear visibility of stock levels and won’t ever need to halt production due to a lack of raw materials.
For more information on how an industry-specific ERP can help your organisation, you can check out these bakery resources, including a full run-down of the features to look for in a bakery ERP and a look at how the right software helps you tackle today’s big challenges in the bakery industry.
Another sector where speed and agility are paramount is fresh produce and farming. When dealing with arguably the most perishable goods in the entire food and beverage industry, organisations in this sector must have 360-degree-visibility; streamlined and automated processes; and watertight coordination along the supply chain. All of which is most easily established with the help of specialised software designed for this fast-paced sector.
Enter fresh produce ERP software. From helping to manage profit margins, to improving demand forecasting and optimising supply chain alignment, these tailored solutions help your organisation thrive. For example, with produce supply affected easily by changes in weather and climate among a range of other factors, you’ll find the tools to help with precise demand forecasting very useful for ensuring that you have enough product to fulfill orders without getting left with excess that cannot be sold and must be wasted.
The best fresh produce ERP systems also help ensure you’re always delivering the best quality products to your customers. With a range of tools and integrations to help you monitor, track and control quality standards from end-to-end in your organisation, ERP systems designed for produce companies help prevent sub-par goods from entering or leaving your warehouse, thus improving customer satisfaction and protecting your brand reputation.
The benefits of choosing tailored fresh produce ERP don’t stop there. To find out more and get started on your journey, take a look at these produce and farming resources, including a deep dive on fresh food inventory management and a guide to the steps for a successful produce ERP software implementation.
Just like every other sub-sector in the food and beverage industry, the dairy sector comes with its own set of unique challenges such as significant pricing fluctuations, demands for increased sustainability, variable weight management and food safety concerns. So, dairy organisations require a system that promotes transparency throughout the supply chain and provides specific capabilities to reduce the burden and streamline these unique processes. Luckily, you need look no further than dairy ERP software.
The best of these systems provide a variety of pricing tools, granting you visibility and control across departments to properly account for changes between original estimates and final prices. Additionally, with a huge range of diverse end products being produced from milk, dairy ERP software empowers you to not only efficiently manage the separate production flows, but also ensure quality is prioritised throughout.
The most advanced systems connect directly to smart sensors and scales, allowing you to access granular quality details in one place immediately—ensuring you can quickly flag and remove deviations, protecting customer satisfaction while improving operational efficiency.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how a dairy ERP can help your organisation. We have a range of resources to help you discover more such as this more detailed look at dairy ERP software features or this fascinating case study about how Joseph Gallo Farms improved efficiency with dairy ERP.
Seafood, Meat and Poultry
When it comes to unique challenges in the food industry, the meat, seafood and poultry sector has its fair share. Recently, increased demands for sustainability—particularly in fishing—and animal welfare have joined the familiar challenges of catch weight management and traceability. Thankfully, there’s a surefire way to balance these pressures and streamline processes within your organisation—ERP software designed for meat, seafood and poultry businesses.
For meat and seafood companies, transparency is one of the key issues that a meat ERP can help you tackle. Whether it’s to satisfy consumer demand or adhere to regulations, providing full end-to-end traceability of your products is where tailored solutions shine. And not only is this information tracked, it’s quickly available from one single system across all departments in your organisation.
Perhaps the most industry-specific functionality that the best meat ERP solutions offer are specific capabilities for catch weight management (sometimes called variable weight). Truly advanced systems here connect to your scales to automate the weighing process, directly piping this information into the system and removing the risk of human error. Prices and labels can also be automatically generated using your specified model to further streamline processes.
This deep dive on the tailored features of seafood ERP or this look at how ERP solutions help tackle the toughest meat industry challenges are both great places to find out more about this specialised software, or you can explore our other seafood, meat and poultry industry resources here.
Confectionery and Desserts
With both consumer concern and regulatory pressure casting the spotlight on the health implications of confectionary products, organisations in this sector must remain agile in order be successful. This means ensuring maximum efficiency in internal processes to minimise costs while applying creative and innovative approaches to deliver the products that customer desire while adhering to new regulatory requirements. An industry-specific ERP solution can help on both of these fronts.
Whether you’re creating sweets, chocolates or desserts, the range of ingredients you’re using can leave you vulnerable to allergen concerns. Therefore, the allergen management tools in a specialised food ERP for confectionery and desserts deliver peace of mind as they track and flag pertinent components throughout the entire development and production lifecycle. So, you can be confident you’re effectively managing allergen risks and complying with all necessary regulations or legislation in this area.
In addition, the recipe management capabilities of this software are especially helpful to confectionery and dessert companies. With an entirely digital method for managing formula data, you'll have better protection of your confidential information, more standardised processes and assured compliance—and it can also facilitate faster product development, helping put you ahead of the competition.
Discover how industry-specific software can help you tackle key dessert industry trends or find out if you’re ahead or behind the curve with our food and beverage digital transformation assessment.
Choosing the Right Sector-Specific ERP for Your Business
Hopefully the information above has shown you the benefits of choosing a specialised solution to tackle the unique challenges your food and beverage organisation faces, but the question still remains—which of the available options is right for you?
Well, it would be a little remiss of us here not to extol the virtues of Aptean’s own food and beverage ERP systems. First and foremost, when it comes to building software solutions based on industry knowledge, we really are the experts. With decades of collective experience, our team of dedicated professionals have walked the walk and talked the talk, and they’re relentlessly dedicated to developing industry-specific features for our solutions, as well as supporting our customers across these sectors to get the most out of their platforms.
But, you don’t need to just take our word for it. We’ve been recognized by multiple industry sources as a trusted provider. Take for example, our recent inclusion in The Software Report’s Power 500 Software Companies of 2023 list—coming in the top 10% of businesses recognised—is a testament to not only the quality of our product and the reliability of our platforms, but also the commitment and skill of our exceptional personnel.
So, if you’re ready to embark on your industry-specific food ERP journey and begin reaping the incredible benefits on offer, get in touch with one of our experts today. Alternatively, you can request a personalised demonstration of our software in action.
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