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4 Key Food ERP Features that Keep Your Operations Flexible

4 Key Food ERP Features that Keep Your Operations Flexible

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4 Key Food ERP Features that Keep Your Operations Flexible

Dec 2, 2021

John McCurdy
Food facility employees load boxes on a pallet.

The food and beverage industry is always changing. Every day, businesses like yours are faced with the tasks of adjusting to emerging trends, catering to growing consumer preferences, keeping up with the latest regulations and reacting to disruptions in the marketplace.

Your organization must remain agile in order to meet these demands, but you can’t simply “go with the flow” while the competition passes you by. To be proactive and take charge of your operations to progress confidently toward your goals, you need the digital foundation of a purpose-built food ERP solution.

There are many ways that these platforms keep your company flexible and ready to both react to shifts in the food and beverage landscape and seize opportunities as they come along. Here, we take a closer look at four features of industry-specific ERP systems that serve this purpose.

1. Modules for Every Stage of the Supply Chain

Today’s food and beverage supply chains are long and sprawling, with each business being just one step in a longer journey. Every organization along the way has a specific role to play, and while there are some shared responsibilities—like the collection and maintenance of vital product information to preserve traceability—they are generally quite specialized in the processes they carry out.

ERP solutions truly tailored to the industry were built with the knowledge that not all food and beverage companies are alike and thus offer an array of features for different kinds of operations. Advanced systems like our own Aptean Food & Beverage ERP have dedicated modules for the following business functions:

  • Grower

  • Trader

  • Packer

  • Repacker

  • Grader

  • Producer

  • Processor

  • Manufacturer

  • Distributor

  • Third Party

The fact that all of these are united under one system, sharing the same database and interface, is an added benefit of a solid food ERP. And while you can’t guarantee that every partner in your supply chain will have an enterprise solution that matches the level of granular detail you strive for, knowing that you have a “single source of truth” and go-to platform for all operations will allow your teams to work effectively and efficiently regardless.

2. Sector-Specific Tools

Within the larger food and beverage industry, there are several distinct sectors that vary not only in the categories of their products but also their critical processes. For this reason, your ERP solution must come with built-in functions that are specific to the various sub-verticals in the market.

For meat, poultry and seafood processors, catch weight management is a must-have to ensure accurate pricing and protect brand reputation. Meanwhile, many fresh produce businesses have a need for consignment tracking, and any food ERP worth implementing will offer that feature.

Other tools could be relevant in multiple sectors—like those for allergen management or formula control—but are more important when certain ingredients or procedures are involved. The best ERP for food and beverage businesses will come with a complete suite of finely tailored tools like these, all created with the purpose of optimizing the system for whatever circumstances it might be used in.

3. Mobile Functionality

With how fast-paced the world moves today, it’s vital that your staff has reliable access to the systems they need no matter where they are. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more employees are working from home, and your food ERP should accommodate this change in the status quo by allowing authorized users to log on from anywhere given a stable WiFi connection and internet browser.

Another way that food and beverage ERP solutions enable your staff to “go mobile” is through integrations with connected handheld devices, including barcode and QR code scanners. Aptean Food & Beverage ERP works in tandem with these technologies to keep your database up-to-date, wirelessly importing all information collected and making it immediately available for access and review.

4. Cloud Deployments

Cloud technology has gained wide popularity and continues to expand in its applications, and food and beverage ERP platforms are moving to that model for several reasons. The first and most obvious is the up-front savings that a business can achieve by foregoing a physical on-premise installation that would require the purchase of new hardware.

Beyond that, cloud implementations tend to result in better reliability of service and increased security measures. In the case of Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, we can offer businesses using our cloud solution 99.9% system uptime, as well as the assurance of redundant offsite servers and dedicated IT teams.

Additionally, cloud-based food ERP are completely scalable, as all configuration is handled remotely by your providers’ experts, and updates are applied automatically. New modules and features can be rolled out faster compared to how long it would take them to get up and running with an on-premise setup.

Achieving Flexibility for Future Success

The way the food and beverage industry moves will keep your organization on its toes. You need to have the right foundation in place to navigate the landscape with confidence, and an ERP solution from a provider that knows the dynamic nature of the market and understands the needs of your company is the best way to establish that bedrock for your business.

We’ve mentioned some of the ways that Aptean Food & Beverage ERP is especially well-suited to enable agile operations, but one other advantage of our best-in-class offering is the Microsoft Dynamics 365 framework that lies under it. This helps us unlock all of the latest integrations and cutting-edge developments for our clients while also offering an interface that is familiar and user-friendly for anyone who’s worked in Microsoft’s suite of programs and applications.

What’s more, with more than 1,000 successful implementations under our collective belt, we have considerable experience in deploying our system in a variety of settings and circumstances. We act as a partner throughout the journey, working with your teams to create a detailed roadmap and seeing each phase through to completion and beyond.

Want to learn more about Aptean Food & Beverage ERP and how it can keep your business flexible and resilient? Contact us today, or request a specialized demo at your convenience.

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