Need a software solution that can keep up with complex business challenges in the food industry? From the growing impact of uncertainties in global supply chains to food safety threats and tightening regulations, a run-of-the-mill inventory management system may not work to achieve comprehensive traceability.
At the same time, you need operational efficiency and transparency in every business process, from accounting to human resource management and customer relationship management. Food ERP solutions can solve these problems at once.
What is an ERP?
An enterprise resource planning software is a centralized system used for integrated and real-time management of all processes in one place. The synchronicity leads to high-level visibility and more opportunities for quality control, automation, and efficiency optimization processes.
The global ERP market value is predicted to reach $78.4 billion by 2026, with the food industry no stranger to the ERP software systems trend. Every food distributor now realizes the benefits of an integrated ERP solution in management. Here are some of the reasons why you need food ERP software in your food distribution business:
Compliance and cost reduction
Food producers, processors, and distributors need to comply with a broad set of regulations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). ERP software helps food manufacturers and distributors achieve this.
Food safety incidents and recalls
Food recalls in the industry are increasing. The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) reported an increase of 10 % in food recall rates between 2013 and 2018. On the other hand, Ernst & Young found that 81% of businesses in the food and beverage distribution space view losses from food recalls as “significantly catastrophic”.
The need for consistency
Supply and demand can fluctuate, but your adherence to top-notch supply chains has to stay the same. That’s why a Food ERP system has such vital importance.
Features of the best food and beverage ERP
Recipe and blending management
The right ERP for food manufacturers easily documents your old and new recipes and keeps track of recipe development and quality control processes on the same.
Top ERP software solutions enable users to access records at the same time and freely create and interact with information to reduce reporting costs.
The best food manufacturing ERP solutions should be easy to roll out on both desktop and mobile, and be adaptable to your existing IT infrastructure.
Your ERP food software should have an inventory management solution to ease lot traceability, resource planning, procurement, return order management, and production planning.
Quality control and user-defined features
The best food ERP system should facilitate easy reporting after tracking and tracing of products. Personalization of these and other features should help you get the best performance from the foodservice distribution software and improve responsiveness to food safety concerns.
The Best 3 Food Service ERP Vendors
Let’s explore the top 3 food service ERP solutions in the market today.
IFS is easily the fastest growing ERP in the food industry. Although the IFS solution offers cross-cutting functionalities across all sectors, the providers have focused on an equally well-thought-out solution for food service companies.
The main highlight of this ERP food software is simplicity and customizability. Unlike the earlier outlined ERP food industry solutions, the IFS software is designed for adaptability to your business needs, new technologies, and fluctuating market landscapes. This is the solution that might help you attain not only compliance but also efficiency, consistency, and accountability to your customers.
IFS modules for the food industry include:
Manufacturing: This tool will help you meet the complex traceability requirements in food production. From growing to harvesting, packing, storage, and blending, the module may help you identify risks of contamination, trace their origins and implement mitigation measures.
Supply chain and warehouse management: This functionality embedded within the IFS ERP simplifies the processes of food inventory management, purchase orders, sales orders, lot tracking, return order management and hazard analysis and critical control points (HAACP) among others.
Recipe Management: The IFS recipe management functionality automates and centralizes all processes in blending, offering last-mile traceability for each ingredient and documenting all changes in the formulation stage.
Other IFS modules you can leverage for 360-degree efficiency optimization include Financials and Accounting, Human Capital Management, Order Processing, and Asset Management among others.
The Sage 100 cloud by Sage Group is an ERP for both small and medium-sized businesses. Its features include financials and accounting, supply chain management and reporting and analysis. The system is designed to find errors in transactions and documents automatically. Your whole company’s data can be aggregated and analyzed on a single dashboard. Sage 100 cloud supports MAC OS, Windows 10 and web services.
Key features that you will find helpful in this ERP include:
Finance and accounting: This module provides an in-depth platform for managing cash flow, profitability, and other accounting processes in your organization. This helps to minimize costs and optimize productivity in your food distribution systems.
Supply chain and distribution: This module helps to stay compliant when dealing with tangled global supply chains. It comes with accurate tracking and reporting of all product movements.
Warehouse and inventory management: This functionality manages food inventory tracking and records details of product changes, purchase orders, sales histories, and return requests.
Other Sage 100 Cloud modules that may help improve your operations include Business Insights, Manufacturing, Resource, Customer Relationship Management, and Project Management.
JD Edwards by Oracle is another popular ERP with a strong market standing. The cloud-based ERP includes tools for finance, supply chain management, human resources, manufacturing, and industry-specific modules. The ERP is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Linus, AIX and mobile and desktop browsers.
JDE’s compelling modules for the food industry include:
Blend Management: This tool provides integrated automation in lot management, operational tracking, product specifications, and end-to-end traceability in everything that entails food formulation and blending.
Grower Management: The grower management module is for tracking, recording and reporting the processes involved in production from the growing to harvesting of food products as demanded by FSMA produce safety rule.
Pricing and Payments: This tool is used for compliance monitoring in grower, manufacturer and distributor contracts in the food industry. The module helps in tracking products quantity, catch weight, quality, crop cycles, and payment statuses.
Implementation and Training
The deployment of ERP systems for food manufacturers needs to be done in the right manner to minimize implementation costs and maximize your ROI. Expert training can help to get your team on board and increase their expertise when dealing with food ERP systems. ERP training allows players in the food distribution business to understand the ways in which the solution can help to attain compliance and meet goals faster.