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A Quick Guide to Aptean’s Food and Beverage Business Systems Assessment
A Quick Guide to Aptean’s Food and Beverage Business Systems Assessment
Jan 14, 2022John McCurdy
What if you could take a simple quiz that could evaluate your food and beverage operations holistically, paying special attention to today’s most pressing industry issues?
That’s exactly what we’ve created with our new Food and Beverage Business Systems Assessment, an interactive tool that, in just a few minutes, can reveal where your company is succeeding and where it stands to improve.
With this post, we explain our motivations for introducing this new feature so that you can better understand its purpose. And while the assessment is straightforward and easy to use, we know that you’ll want to get the most out of the information you obtain from it, so we’ve also provided some explanations of the terms used and guidance on what your results mean.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be fully informed on how to put this tool to its best use.
Why We Created the Assessment
At Aptean, we pride ourselves on our future-focused outlook. We are always looking ahead for what’s new and what’s next, be that shifts in consumer preferences, impending changes to compliance and safety regulations or a novel technology that could change the way business is done.
While the timing and nature of such developments can’t be predicted exactly, one thing is certain—the future will bring change to the food and beverage marketplace in one form or another. As traceability, sustainability and digitalization continue to grow in importance and other trends emerge, your organization will need to be prepared to face the challenges that arise.
Aptean strives to help our clients and the industry as a whole improve and achieve better outcomes. We have always strived to act as a partner for each and every food and beverage business that chooses one of our solutions, and we believe that greater awareness of your company’s performance is necessary for knowing how to grow and get better.
After all, if you simply accept the status quo and never explore how you can make progress toward higher goals, how will you ever keep pace in such a dynamic and competitive food and beverage landscape?
And that’s why we’ve created this assessment. We want to help companies like yours get ready to handle whatever comes their way and serve customers with agility and confidence, and we know that the first step in that journey will be taking stock of the current state of your operations.
How to Use the Assessment
Aptean’s Food and Beverage Business Systems Assessment is written in simple, easy-to-understand language, and there are no wrong answers. The results, meanwhile, could prove invaluable, giving you insight on the impacts of your technology and procedures and how your efforts could be enhanced.
Once you click the “Begin Assessment” button, you’ll see that there are 5 tabs, each labeled with a different category and containing 8 different questions to gauge your company’s performance in that area. Here’s a bit of context for each of these sections:
Visibility: This category focuses on areas that relate to the accessibility of your business’s data, the traceability of your materials and products, the transparency of your financials and the reliability of your inventory management procedures.
Scheduling & Efficiency: This category includes questions to cover your scheduling efforts, operational efficiency, dependability of critical processes and confidence in delivering orders according to volume now and in the future.
Quality & Compliance: This category is geared to measure your quality assurance, workplace safety, regulatory compliance, allergen management and recall readiness.
Profitability: This category is aimed at assessing your waste reduction measures, sales opportunities, client relationships, product development and overall balance of expenditures to revenue.
Vendor Support: This category is intended to gauge how well your ERP solution provider facilitates your company’s success, be that through updates to your system, solid customer support, guidance in best practices and implementation of new technologies like EDI and automation.
As you move through the questions, you’ll notice mentions of “our system,” “our solution” and “our platform,” and by that we primarily mean the enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution you are currently using. If you don’t yet have an ERP in place, think instead of whatever methods or systems you have in place to manage the matters referred to in the question, even if it’s a manual, pen-and-paper approach.
With regards to your answer options, they will be the same for each question, and they may look familiar—we used a simple 5-point Likert scale, which ranges from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree,” with options for partial agreement, partial disagreement and neutral in between.
If you find yourself having difficulty determining where on the scale your opinion falls, try to quantify the percentage of the time that you would agree with the statement compared to the percentage of time you would disagree with the statement. Then, if you would say that you would agree more than half the time, choose either “Somewhat Agree” or “Strongly Agree” according to your level of confidence, and vice versa if you would say that you would disagree more than half the time.
At a total of 40 straightforward questions, we estimate that it shouldn’t take you more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Hopefully, you’ll find the process valuable for reflection on your current performance and thinking of ways you could achieve more with better technology and support.
How to Interpret Your Results
Now, for what you’ve been waiting for. After you click the “Calculate Results” button, you’ll first see your overall score, as well as where that puts your business in terms of the potential for improvement and the urgency of upgrades. Toggle over to the “Scores by Category” tab, and you’ll see individual scores assigned to each of the categories—then flip those cards to read a brief score analysis that discusses what you might be missing.
When looking at your individual category scores, consider the relative importance of certain elements based on your sector within the larger food and beverage world. For example, a bakery or meat and seafood business should prioritize quality and compliance, with allergen management and food safety being significant concerns in those segments. By contrast, a batch manufacturer of snacks or sauces might be more interested in scheduling and efficiency as they try to ramp up production.
Don’t panic if your overall or category scores are labeled with “Attention Required” or “Needs Improvement”—keep in mind that industry-specific solutions that can turn shortcomings into strengths not only exist, but they’re becoming more accessible all the time. For example, we offer our Aptean Food & Beverage ERP via both traditional on-premise implementations as well through the cloud for businesses that prefer a flexible, agile approach.
That being said, even if your scores are marked as “Sufficient,” there is still room for improvement. The right system could unlock even better results, and with demands from both consumers and regulatory bodies becoming more stringent, more will be expected in the future.
Ready to jump in? Complete our Food and Beverage Business Systems Assessment now and discover your results today.
Taking the Next Step
Regardless of the results you receive from our Food and Beverage Business Systems Assessment, it’s only right for you to think about how you can achieve more and make progress on your company’s goals. Researching alternatives to your current solution is a smart move for every organization, as you might be surprised by the latest developments and what you’re missing out on that other systems can provide.
We firmly believe that industry-specific ERP are vital for the overall health and performance of food and beverage businesses, as these all-in-one platforms manage your data, critical processes, financial information and more with feature-packed software and a user-friendly interface. If you’re still using solutions that your teams created in-house or physical records, we strongly recommend that you consider making a move toward modernization and digital transformation.
Aptean Food & Beverage ERP was built on decades of experience and in-depth knowledge of the food and beverage industry, so our solution comes with tools to tackle the tough challenges found in each of the market’s sectors. As mentioned before, we also offer cloud deployments with 99.9% uptime, and the Microsoft Dynamics 365 foundation of our systems facilitates easy updates and integrations.
Aptean has completed thousands of successful ERP implementations, and we strive to make the process a collaborative and open effort. We create your roadmap and assist in each phase of the rollout, including training and deployment of additional features after your initial go-live date.
One final reason to consider Aptean for your food and beverage ERP is the honor we received from market research firm Frost and Sullivan. As the winner of their 2022 Product Leadership Award in North American ERP Software for the food and beverage industry, we’re proud to have been recognized with such a prestigious designation and all the more committed to the success of our clients.