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Your Guide to Understanding the Full Scope of Food Industry Software
Food Industry Solutions
Your Guide to Understanding the Full Scope of Food Industry Software
Apr 12, 2022Jack Payne
Greek philosopher Heraclitus is attributed with coining the saying, “There is nothing permanent except change.” The wisdom in his quote is abundantly clear when you consider how rapidly the food and beverage industry has evolved over the past several years.
Gone are the days when the biggest concern for businesses was delivering a viable product to market. Now, organizations like yours must account for stringent government traceability regulations, disrupted supply chains, consumer demands for sustainability and a host of other vital considerations.
Thankfully, the technology at your disposal has also been advancing with the times. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) platforms, transportation management systems (TMS) and business intelligence (BI) applications are just a few examples of the new developments that have received widespread acceptance in the food and beverage world.
Of course, we recognize that such a bevy of acronyms may not provide you with clear direction in your digital transformation. Just what purpose does each of these offerings serve, and why should you consider implementing them at your company?
Read this overview of food industry software for a more complete understanding of what’s available and how it can help your business keep pace in such a dynamic environment.
Food ERP: The Brains Behind the Operation
Dedicated food ERP software is considered the foundation of any good digital transformation initiative. That’s because these all-in-one, organization-wide solutions serve as a “single source of truth” and include features for many of your critical processes, including lot traceability, quality control, inventory management and more.
One of the key advantages to be gained from deploying an ERP at your company is the digitization of all your critical data. These systems make it much easier to ditch the outdated and inefficient paper-based methods of record-keeping that may still persist in some of your departments, as they not only eliminate siloes and serve as a highly accessible source of information but also can automate data collection via integrations with barcode scanners and smart devices.
Food ERP systems also help you manage your supply chain with complete bidirectional visibility. That helps you stay prepared in the case of a contamination or full-blown food safety emergency, as you’ll be able to track the issue back to its source rapidly and execute your recall plan right away—with some steps even automated by the software.
Finally, consider that advanced offerings like our own Aptean Food & Beverage ERP can be implemented via the cloud, lowering your up-front costs and maximizing the flexibility of your platform. With disruptions now a common occurrence and working from home and on the road a necessity, it can be invaluable to always have that option available.
OEE: Getting the Most Out of What You Have
An OEE system can make for an obvious next step for food and beverage businesses that need additional manufacturing solutions to support their ERP, as these solutions deliver complete visibility into productivity and help increase efficiency. By providing your staff with real-time updates from the shop floor, your teams will be more capable of executing your production plans and making good on your commitment to deliver orders on time and in full.
Aptean OEE also has features that allow you to track the losses that occur during your manufacturing processes and identify how to improve your yield in future runs. What’s more, the platform has functionalities for streamlining your changeover, clean-in-progress and sanitation procedures.
On the subject of equipment and machinery, enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions are another solid complement to ERP and OEE. Aptean EAM helps you monitor the performance of your hardware, manage maintenance and keeps tabs on your inventory of spare parts so that malfunctions and the delays they cause can be mitigated. This should further increase your ability to stay agile and competitive in this dynamic marketplace.
TMS: Optimizing Your Distribution
Until the final leg of the journey is complete and the end consumers have their orders in-hand, your work as a food and beverage organization isn’t done. Because your customer satisfaction hinges on meeting potentially tight time windows and getting goods to the correct recipients in excellent shape, trusting to the purpose-built technology of a TMS to work alongside your ERP is a prudent idea.
Our suite of transportation management systems includes Aptean Routing & Scheduling, Aptean Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) and Aptean Home Delivery. Advanced routing software is particularly well-suited to food distribution companies, as you’re able to use a hybrid model in which both static routes and late orders are accounted for to create an optimized delivery schedule that meets your customers’ requirements, all while cutting down on planning time and transportation costs.
ePOD, meanwhile, helps to ensure a positive customer experience by verifying delivery digitally and remotely, increasing the visibility of important information and decreasing the need for tedious paperwork. Finally, Home Delivery is a great choice for food and beverage companies that are exploring direct-to-consumer methods for their order fulfillment.
BI: Unlocking Data-Driven Insights
One more solution to consider as a supplement for your ERP is business intelligence (BI). These solutions help you harness the power of your data and produce actionable insights that lead to better outcomes, and they also offer powerful forecasting capabilities that help you get a clear picture of what to expect down the road.
Aptean BI uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to measure the impacts that your processes are having on key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing you to fine-tune your approach to bring about specific results. With our platform on your side, you can simulate different scenarios and discover the best strategy for attaining your goals.
Your Partner for a Complete Digital Transformation
Reading about these purpose-built, industry-specific solutions has hopefully piqued your interest in finding what the technology could do for your food and beverage business. At the same time, though, it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed when you’re looking at adding multiple software packages at once and managing an organizational shift of such magnitude.
It can really help to have an expert on your side who knows how to structure a comprehensive “digital transformation,” from creating the roadmap and milestones to providing training and advice on best practices. Aptean’s experienced and passionate professionals are proud to serve in this role for our clients, and your company could be the next to benefit from our decades of collective expertise.
A couple of key differentiators to consider when it comes to Aptean Food & Beverage ERP are our sector-specific features—like catch weight management, consignment tracking and grading and classing tools—as well as the guaranteed system uptime of 99.9%. That stands for both on-premise and cloud implementations, so no matter which path you choose, you can count on excellent reliability and service thanks to our redundant servers and dedicated IT teams.
Additionally, check out our digital transformation quiz to a get a read on how far along your business is relative to peers in the industry.
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