Food and beverage makers face unique manufacturing challenges. That’s why when it comes to choosing the right business software, companies need solutions built with their industry’s needs in mind.
With Sage X3, companies can have the enterprise resource planning software (ERP) tool that addresses requirements that food and beverage companies demand.
Here’s a closer look at why it’s smart to add Sage to your food and beverage ERP recipe.
Unique needs for food and beverage companies
The food and beverage industry has certain complexities that make an ERP indispensable. The common issues these companies face include:
- Cost and margin pressures. With competition so steep and profit margins razor-thin, companies need ERP solutions that help to improve efficiency in manufacturing and throughout the supply chain. Without synchronized operations that connect and share data across inventory, sales, procurement and production, companies are bound to be inefficient where they cannot be.
- Process manufacturing capabilities. A food ERP needs to have functions that improve the manufacturing process. The right ERP offers functions to collect, manage, use and report on data related to production cost analysis, forecasting, resource planning, job costing and quality analytics.
- Inventory management. Shelf life management is important for reducing waste and spoilage. That’s why food and beverage companies need a solution that reduces wastage, inventory write-offs and lower inventory costs. Too many companies still manage inventory based on spreadsheets and estimates. Eliminate back-of-the-envelope inventory calculations with an ERP designed to manage inventory.
- Recipe control. Your customers expect consistency in the products you create. That’s why recipe control is an essential component of the idea food ERP. Your ERP should include functions that allow for different formulations, ingredient and recipe tracking, recipe formulation and duplication, allergen management, labeling, ingredient traceability, rework management, and track and trace functionality from supplier to customer to consumer.
- Food safety. Product safety is high on the priority list of every food and beverage company. Their software solutions need to include tools that allow for the tracking and reporting of quality control processes, traceability and compliance with various regulatory requirements issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, industry councils and local and state mandates.
- Changing consumer tastes. Change is the one constant in the food and beverage industry. Consumers today expect access to ingredients, flavor profiles and products from around the world. They want variety in the products they purchase and choice. Tastes – whether fads or the result of changing demographics – can shift quickly. That means companies need supply chain transparency to source and deliver ingredients quickly on a global scale.
- Automation. New technologies are changing the way foods and beverages are made. Automation, for example, offers great opportunities for companies that can tap into technology that makes operations more efficient. To do so, however, requires an ERP solution that can scale to meet company growth, record and report on regulatory manages such as the Food Safety Modernization Act and other compliance needs, and provide reliable and repeatable service.
- Marketing management. Sales and promotions are a regular part of the industry. That requires an ERP solution that can track multiple prices, changing demand, forecasting and sound order-to-dispatch processes.
The complexities on food and beverage manufacturing demand a solution that anticipates needs and solves common problems.
Case study 1: Solving an inventory challenge
Savoury Systems International, Inc. is a flavor company that had a bad taste in its mouth when it came to inventory management. The company has been growing at a 20 percent year-over-year rate and named one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing private companies.
It provides enhancers and ingredient blends to some of the world’s top food companies. However, the rapid growth had left the company with inadequate inventory management and forecasting solutions. That meant challenges with cash flow, stock outs and inefficient inventory levels.
After choosing Sage’s enterprise resource planning solutions, Savoury Systems has had remarkable improvements. Among the accomplishments:
- A $2 million reduction in working capital dedicated to inventory
- $3 million in annual revenue growth
- Improved fill rates
- All-time lows for stock-outs
- Reduced inventory holdings despite the business growth
The company how has key performance indicators that measure performance for each department. And the company achieved a full return on investment in one year.
The Sage X3 solution
Sage X3 is more than ERP. It connects functions across your business, from the supply chain to sales, to give you flexibility, efficiency and insights. It delivers what your food or beverage manufacturing company needs at a fraction of the cost of other ERP systems.
Sage X3 delivers results that affect your bottom line by making work:
- Faster. Sage lets your business gain insights faster from collected data, resulting in better decisions about costs and performance. Get work done faster in every facet of your business, including procurement, warehousing, production, sales, customer service and financial management.
- Flexible. Choose the system configurations that work best for your company, either in the cloud or via your on-premises data center.
- Simpler. Let users customize the platform for their role, preferences, workflows with secure mobile and cloud access. Simplify the work with a reduction in the number of applications in use, consolidating them under the Sage solution.
It’s a solution that has worked repeatedly for food and beverage customers.
Case study 2: Integrating and simplifying application mix
Northwest Naturals, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tree Top, Inc. It supplies fruit juice concentrates and essences to domestic and international manufacturers that expect consistent and high-quality flavors.
However, its software suite was too big and too complex. The apps were not integrated, resulting in manual and duplicative data entry that wasted time and resources while increasing the risk of data errors. The lack of integration was a sore spot that hampered productivity throughout the company.
The company chose SageX3 as its integrated business management software solution because of Sage’s expertise in comprehensive process manufacturing management tools, the ease of use for workers and the competitive price point
Northwest Naturals was able to make dramatic changes quickly with the integrated product. Among the accomplishments:
- Elimination of duplicate data entry
- Improved inventory management and accuracy
- More accurate and efficient production planning
- The ability to track and enforce quality standards
- Complete forward and backward lot traceability
The addition of the ERP software solution also allowed the company to pursue certification with a rigorous international food safety program.
For Northwest Naturals, the Sage solution made sense not just for its exceptional standard ERP features and the industry-specific functionality the software offers.
Sage X3 features
The Sage ERP solution delivers functionality designed to meet the most pressing needs for food and beverage makers. Its core components include:
- Financial management for real-time visibility into budgets and accounting (general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable), fixed assets and financial reporting, including user-defined dashboards, real-time analytics, alerts and a library with more than 400 standard reports
- Supply chain management, including purchasing (pricing, discounts, suppliers, product categories, RFPs, open orders), inventory management (product data, units of measure, inventory balances, stock movement, import tracking, quality control and sampling), sales management and customer service to collaborate, manage and remain compliant with global suppliers
- Production management to get to market faster with project management (project cost breakdown structures, employee assignments, multi-level budget description, financial follow-up, time entry) and shop floor controls, including labor time collection and time and attendance clocking
- Quality control, including use-by date management, serial number management, batch and sub-batch number management, stock status management (accepted, rejected, inspected), quality control record management, expiration date management
- Upstream and downstream traceability management to provide critical information quickly to decision-makers, regulators, government officials, customers, consumers and the public
- Mobile capabilities via Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, access to enterprise data anywhere on any device, HTML5 interface for a browser experience that can be personalized
- Collaboration tools, including document and revision management, tag management, sharing capabilities by user, role or team, synchronization of data in Microsoft Excel exports, chart and data insertion into Microsoft Word and PowerPoint applications
- User control of the workspace, including personalized home pages, access to relevant data, table and graph displays, use and display of dynamic internal data, shortcuts to external URLs, documents and notes
- Complementary Sage applications including business intelligence analytics and reporting, sales and customer management for collaboration between sales reps and office staff, data analytics to provide a hub for data from all sources and in all formats with built-in models for reporting, and e-commerce to create or customize websites with catalogs, pricing, inventory and transactions
Managing food ERP selection and optimization
When you need an industry-specific software solution, turn to NexTec Group. Our teams of consultants have extensive food and beverage industry expertise and knowledge of the X3 product and functionality.
NexTec helps food and beverage companies identify, implement and optimize their ERP software solution. As a Sage authorized partner, NexTec is poised to help with your ERP conversion or implementation project to deliver operational excellence, cost reduction and a hefty return on investment.
Additional food resources