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How Food Manufacturing ERP Provides the Flexibility and Reliability to Ensure Your Business’s Future

How Food Manufacturing ERP Provides the Flexibility and Reliability to Ensure Your Business’s Future

How Food Manufacturing ERP Provides the Flexibility and Reliability to Ensure Your Business’s Future

Sep 8, 2021

Jack Payne
Two food facility workers review documents and pretzels.

If there’s one thing that the past few years have taught food and beverage manufacturers, it’s that you have to be ready for anything. From the major disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic to stricter government regulations and greater consumer demand for specialized products, food manufacturing businesses like yours have been forced to adapt and adjust quickly.

For that reason, establishing a rock-solid foundation for a digital transformation is more important now than ever before. Shifting from a reactive approach to one that is more proactive and forward-thinking is imperative given the number of unknowns in the industry. A food manufacturing ERP is among the best choices for solutions to serve as a basis for such a change initiative.

Two key fronts on which these ERP systems deliver are flexibility and reliability. With the features we’ll discuss here, your food manufacturing organization will be able to act with agility and confidence now and going forward.

How Does a Food Manufacturing ERP Allow for Flexible Operations?

Having the ability to maneuver in the marketplace freely—be it by tweaking your product lineups to seize on opportunities or continue normal operations in the face of closures and delays—is absolutely crucial in today’s food and beverage manufacturing world. ERP set the gold standard in flexibility, being all-in-one solutions themselves and offering a powerful platform for doing business no matter the circumstances.

Cloud Deployment

Implementing a food ERP solution via the cloud has several advantages. First, there are substantial up-front savings, as with this route you avoid having to purchase and install new hardware at your facilities. But more importantly—and more relevant—is the accessibility that cloud deployments afford.

With such a setup, any employee with an internet connection and web browser can log in to the system, review all relevant information, make changes and enter new data as necessary. With many months of mandatory stay-at-home orders still fresh in our collective memory, the need for remote work capabilities is evident.

One final way in which cloud-managed ERPs keep food and beverage manufacturers striding forward and up-to-date is the automatic application of updates. You’ll never have to worry about being on the latest version when the process is taken care of automatically.

Fully Scalable

Food and beverage businesses can choose to take on the implementation of an ERP at any point in their lifecycle, from early growth stages to later periods of more widespread operations. And of course, change is a constant in this industry, so even if a company’s scope is small at one point, it could grow should they launch more products to market or establish new locations.

For that reason, food manufacturing ERPs need to be scalable, and the best offerings out there are designed to keep pace with your expansion. Whether it’s the introduction of new lines, facilities, staff, processes or partners, the right solution will have the scalability that your organization needs.

Agile, Data-Driven Decision-Making

With automated capture of even the most granular of data, food manufacturing ERP systems collect massive quantities of facts and figures. That alone is incredibly valuable, but platforms that take it a step further with robust analytics and visualization facilitate a new and better approach to making decisions.

When all of the pertinent information is in front of you with just a few clicks, you can make more informed decisions more quickly. That lets you rectify mistakes, flag issues and seize on openings in the market as necessary, and in a competitive and dynamic atmosphere, that’s no less than you need.

Cross-Functional Integration

The organization-encompassing nature of ERP allows you to eliminate data siloes with a single, integrated database. All departments and teams in the business will use and be invested in the platform, using it to communicate and get the details they need in real time.

Advanced systems like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP take it a step further by integrating with smart devices, including barcode scanners, sensors and scales that you may have installed in your facilities. This simplifies the process of conducting all necessary checks and makes sure that everyone works from a single source of truth.

How Does a Food Manufacturing ERP Ensure More Reliable Results?

Being able to rely on your systems even in such unprecedented times as these is critical to your food and beverage manufacturing company’s continued success. Finding an food ERP that “has your back” and dependably covers all your needs will let your business make progress toward key goals without worrying that something might slip through the cracks.

Complete Tracking and Tracing

Food safety may not have ever been more important than it is today, as both the financial and reputational costs of recalls and withdrawals can be devastating for your brand. A good food manufacturing ERP with comprehensive traceability tools will give you the peace of mind by logging and maintaining all attributes and movement of your products and materials from one end of the supply chain to the other.

Want to know where a particular lot of an ingredient was sourced? It’s just a few prompts away in the interface. Need to find out which batches of finished goods might be compromised due to the potential inclusion of an allergen? That information will be fully visible in your database with a simple search.

Dependable Support

If you conduct your due diligence in selecting a food manufacturing ERP, you’ll find that solutions providers offer differing levels of service for their products. Assuming you find a good fit with a partner that has food and beverage industry experience and highly qualified teams, you’ll be in good hands in terms of overcoming any difficulties that occur.

In cloud implementation situations, it’s even easier for the IT teams of your provider to service and troubleshoot your system in the case of an error or outage. Of course, keep an eye out for the options that offer redundant servers on the backend and exceptional uptime metrics, like the 99.9% availability of Aptean Food & Beverage ERP.

Assured Compliance and Safety

Knowing how vital adhering to government regulations is in the current landscape, selecting an ERP system that is built to keep your business in compliance with the specific parameters mandated for your locality is a must. The good news is that most are equipped to do that and more.

Not only do the top offerings on the market align your processes with best practices and all applicable standards, they also automate the scheduling of your critical compliance and safety checks. Removing the room for human error on this side means you’ll never have to wonder whether your operations are in accordance with the demands of the authoritative bodies that matter most.

Automated Quality Control

It might be obvious that food and beverage products of a perceptibly higher level of quality will outperform their competitors, but maintaining a consistent bar for excellence that your customers can trust can set you apart from the pack. That, though, requires a level of vigilance and attention to detail that is best left to ERP features dedicated to completing your most important checks.

Integrations with your smart scales and sensors, as well as imaging equipment you may use, will allow the system to assess everything from size, shape, color and weight of a product to more nuanced measures like consistency and even ripeness. And when all of the collected information is piped into the platform in real time, deviations from accepted ranges can be flagged and resolved so that every item that rolls off your lines is up to your standards.

With that kind of scrutiny and quality control applied to each and every product automatically, you’ll be able to promise the consistently superior satisfaction that turns everyday consumers into repeat patrons. And eventually create brand champions that spread positive word-of-mouth marketing to others.

The Advantages of an Experienced, Connected Provider

Keep in mind that not all food manufacturing ERPs are created equal. Here, we’ve gone over features of these systems that help keep your business prepared for whatever the future might bring, and these—among others—should be on your checklist when evaluating what platform is right for you.

Other key differentiators are the amount of industry experience that providers can claim, how well their offerings are tailored to your specific food and beverage segment and how user-friendly and intuitive their interfaces are. At Aptean, we’re confident that our decades of collective food and beverage knowledge, considerable track record with businesses from every sector and Microsoft Dynamics-based environment tick all these boxes.

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP really is a cut above when it comes to future-proofing your food and beverage manufacturing company and acting as the bedrock upon which you can build a better version of your business. If you’d like to hear more about what we and our robust solutions can do for you, reach out today.

Tell us about yourself and an Aptean specialist will be in touch.