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How Food and Beverage ERP Solutions Help Businesses Balance Quality, Safety and Profitability

How Food and Beverage ERP Solutions Help Businesses Balance Quality, Safety and Profitability

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How Food and Beverage ERP Solutions Help Businesses Balance Quality, Safety and Profitability

Jul 29, 2021

Jack Payne
A food facility worker checks notes on a clipboard.

Doing business in the food and beverage world necessitates juggling a multitude of priorities. Chief among them are quality, safety and profitability—and those three alone break down into many additional challenges, each with their own nuances and best practices.

All told, it’s enough to keep many industry leaders awake at night worrying about how they can satisfy all of the demands set forth by consumers, regulatory bodies and stakeholders. Hoping that the methods that worked in the past will continue to serve going forward isn’t likely to pan out considering how dynamic the marketplace is.

If everyone in the food and beverage space is faced with these issues, surely someone out there has developed a solution, right? The answer lies in technology—specifically, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. These powerful, all-in-one food and beverage ERP platforms really do have the tools for effectively managing your quality, safety and profitability concerns in one robust offering.

Here, we’ll cover the key aspects of these three areas and how food and beverage ERP software can ensure your organization’s success on all critical fronts.

Outstanding Product Quality

Reaching your own company’s standards for food quality and consistently meeting customers’ expectations is critical for brand reputation, not to mention commercial viability. The advanced functionalities of purpose-built ERP solutions allow you to have complete visibility over all product characteristics so that you can act quickly to correct errors and improve processes.

Three features of food and beverage ERP that serve this purpose are:

Automated quality checks. ERP systems built for the food and beverage industry can automate your food quality control checks so that each and every one is completed and the results are logged immediately. The interface also sends alerts in the case of deviation from your pre-determined ranges for acceptable readings, allowing staff to intervene and address any problems that might arise.

Integration with smart sensors and scales. Depending on what products your business manufactures and sells, different characteristics of the finished goods need to be critically assessed to ensure that everything leaving your facility will suit the discerning tastes of your customers. ERP solutions sync with your connected devices to monitor everything from baking temperatures and consistency to appearance, quantity and weight—that way, everything that rolls off your lines is of the highest quality.

Granular details captured in an integrated database. With all of the information gathered being consolidated on a single platform, your staff can understand what’s working and what’s not at a holistic level. Performance-based statistics like sales can be tied back to historical product quality data, giving you insight into the areas in which you’re succeeding, as well as those that need a little shoring up.

Uncompromising Food Safety

With more than 80% of consumers expressing the opinion that food and beverage companies have an important role to play in safety and an ethical responsibility to ensure safe handling of food, the need of businesses like yours to properly prepare your operations should be considered paramount.

After all, you open yourself up to the liability of a food safety emergency, recall or product withdrawal if you’re not on top of this matter. And that can be costly in terms of both your finances and standing relative to competitors, making the need for good food safety practices imminently clear.

These are just a few of the ways ERP platforms built for the food and beverage industry can help your organization avoid any safety-related mishaps:

Automated compliance checks. Regulatory bodies normally have good reasons for implementing the requirements they do—they help keep food production facilities safe for workers and the finished products safe for consumers. That’s why completing compliance checks is so vital; not only will you be covered in the case of an audit, you’ll also be doing everything you can to protect both employees and customers.

Allergen management and complete traceability. If your business handles materials that represent an allergen risk—namely milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat or soy—you likely already know the importance of keeping these products separate from your other lines. ERP systems track and trace all of your ingredients throughout the supply chain, so you know exactly where they’ve been, what they may have come into contact with, and what products might be affected in the case of contamination.

Automatic sanitation scheduling. Proper cleaning of all surfaces, equipment and surrounding areas is crucial to food safety in busy manufacturing and processing facilities. With an advanced ERP solution like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP in place, your staff won’t ever have to worry about forgetting to conduct mandatory sanitation practices, and the procedures will be intelligently timed to minimize any production downtime.

Expiration date management. Spoiled or expired ingredients can represent a hazard for customers, so you not only want to make sure that everything used in your products is viable but also that their shelf life is sufficient to be sold safely. ERP systems capture expiry and “best used by” dates and retain that information tied to specific lots of ingredients to make sure nothing gets used out of its acceptable range.

Optimizing Profitability

At the end of the day, food and beverage businesses need to maintain a healthy bottom line to achieve longevity and growth. Food industry ERP platforms offer the tools to maximize your efficiency and thereby get the most out of your materials and product lines while also maintaining the flexibility to act on opportunities as they arise.

  • Advanced production and yield reporting. Just how much are you getting out of the raw materials you purchase? Identify sources of waste with the complete data capture of an ERP system and refine your processes to make sure your lines are operating as efficiently and profitably as possible.

  • Recipe management. This is one area where precision really matters, and the best food and beverage ERP solutions facilitate tweaking formulas to achieve optimal ingredient usage and finished product quality. Your R&D team will also be empowered to try out new lines that suit trends in consumer demand so that you don’t miss out on a chance to expand into ripe new territory.

  • Maximized facility uptime. Between automatic scheduling of maintenance for minimal downtime and comprehensive production data, an ERP solution built for the industry helps keep your operations humming along while at the same time making plain any inefficiencies that could be weeded out.

  • First-expiry, first-out inventory (FEFO) management. Having ingredients expire unused represents a massive source of waste and a sunk cost that can’t be recovered. That’s where the advanced inventory management of food ERP solutions really shines—they make sure that materials are picked on a FEFO basis and can employ automatic reordering so that you never experience a shortage in a critical period.

Master All the Moving Pieces with Aptean

Staying on top of these three critical aspects of your food and beverage business is no simple task, but your organization can be ready for the challenge with an industry-specific ERP on your side.

With decades of experience under our belts, Aptean’s best-in-class solutions are purpose-built for companies like yours. We leverage our industry knowledge and work closely with clients in partnerships that propel them toward their goals and realize outstanding return on investment.

If you’re ready to learn more about what Aptean Food & Beverage ERP can do for your company, contact us. We’re eager to share our knowledge and help you realize results, so reach out today.

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