Increasing competition, new consumer demands for foods and flavors, and stricter regulatory food safety guidelines are playing a major factor in how food and beverage makers operate today. Technology that integrates the myriad operational and support areas of an organization is essential to staying ahead of the competition in the fierce battle for market share.
These technologies include inventory management, business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. ERP solutions bring together various technologies, ensuring that data is collected, displayed, and analyzed in the same format, allowing for better understanding and faster decision-making.
As seen in the recent article From farm to fork: Exploring the state of America’s food industry, forward-thinking companies realize that they can achieve streamlined processes with an ERP and CRM integration.
Components of ERP systems
ERP technologies are the key to system integration for the food and beverage industry. ERP tools allow companies to streamline information and improve processes, particularly those related to manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution.
Here is a closer look at the fundamental ERP components:
- Supply Chain. An ERP provides controls for internal supply chain management but also integrates with business partners’ and suppliers’ systems. Doing so ensures that staff members have much-needed visibility into raw materials, inventory, ordering, and transportation operations.
- Distribution and Warehousing. Freshness is critical for food and beverage makers, in terms of the ingredients they source, storage of materials and finished goods, and delivery of perishables and other product. ERP tools allow you to integrate the sales team’s customer orders and quotes with back-office functions essential to delivering on those promises. An ERP enables coordination of inventory management, order fulfillment, and accounting. Warehouse management functions allow for optimal storage and retrieval of items.
- Inventory Management. ERP systems ensure that stocking and consumption functions operate efficiently, offer automated and manual inventory management and forecasting, and generate alerts and reports about quantities and quantities across multiple locations. Systems can be automated to enable instant ordering, too.
- Customer Relationship Management. Customers are the heart of any food or beverage manufacturing operation. With integrated ERP and CRM functions, customer-facing and back-office functions are better integrated. A CRM provides tracking information about interactions with customers and prospects, responses to marketing and sales initiatives, and sales force reporting and tracking.
A Sage solution
Sage ERP X3 software is a powerful ERP solution for food and beverage makers looking to improve efficiency. Designed for mid-sized distributors and manufacturers, the Sage solution is particularly effective for formula-based manufacturers, featuring:
- Formula and recipe management
- Quality control
- Shelf life management
- Expiration date control
- Byproduct management
- Lot traceability
The Sage X3 ERP integrates CRM, finance, inventory, manufacturing, purchasing, and sales via a multilingual, multicurrency platform. It features a flexible, open architecture in a web-based platform. Apps allow for your sales force to access customer data, manage quotes and orders, and enter transactions remotely.
At NexTec, we work closely with food and beverage manufacturers to understand their unique operational needs. We help companies find the right ERP and CRM solution that leads to better integration. To learn more, download the NexTec Food Brochure.