All Posts By

Jennifer Spanos

NexTec Food and Beverage Study 2018

7 Food and beverage supply chain challenges for 2020

By | ERP, Food and Beverage, Sage X3 | No Comments
Woman inspecting food item in a manufacturing plant.

Production scheduling and quality control are the top challenges for food and beverage companies in 2020.

Production scheduling and quality control are the top challenges for food and beverage companies in 2020. Food and beverage companies face increasing calls for transparency in sourcing and processing, increased demand for e-commerce and sourcing in an uncertain global marketplace.

Here’s a closer look at 7 food and beverage supply chain challenges for 2020 and how the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can help.

Challenge 1: Use of plastics

Sustainability is essential for food and beverage companies, but at the same time the industry has increased the number of single-use plastics containers being offered for ready-to-eat dining. Businesses face increased demands for sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging, from straws to cups to storage. With many plastics coming from the global marketplace, companies need to have different channels for supply, including alternative suppliers and packaging materials.

Challenge 2: Regulatory burdens

A more stringent regulatory landscape continues to challenge the industry. On the heels of adoption of the U.S. Food Safety and Modernization Act and Safe Food for Canadians regulations, companies now face increased food safety standards from multiple jurisdictions. Significant reporting and documentation rules cover food production, including waste disposal, food quality, and traceability.

Challenge 3: Demand forecasting

Accurate forecasting helps food and beverage companies optimize their production efficiency, reduce inventory costs, improve distribution and streamline purchasing. Demand forecasting requires accurate data to help employees make informed decisions for the future of their business.

Challenge 4: Global visibility

Businesses need access to global supply chain options with meaningful connections to global trading partners. This will be an increasingly challenging component of production in 2020, given economic instability, geopolitical disputes, and the ongoing coronavirus threat.
Food and beverage companies need clear visibility to their operation in order to diversify suppliers and customers to offset the challenges of a global marketplace.

Person looking at information on a tablet in a food manufacturing plant.

Food and beverage companies need reliable means of sourcing ingredients in a global marketplace.

Challenge 5: Predictive scheduling

Even without the current volatility in the supply chain, companies need to use automation and business intelligence to optimize production schedules. The right food ERP can eliminate scheduling bottlenecks, improve inventory visibility, and reduce waste.

Challenge 6: E-Commerce expectations

Food and beverage companies have historically been slow to embrace e-commerce, but recent events have caused accelerated adoption. Better supply chain and logistics management are helping companies turn the corner, allowing businesses to reduce delivery times, meet consumer expectations for availability and freshness, and reducing time-to-market for new products.

Challenge 7: Inventory management

Inventory accuracy and availability are long-held challenges in the industry. With the right technologies in place, companies can address perishability, space management, traceability, assembly, scheduling, and delivery complexities, resulting in less waste and rework, leading to improved profit margins.

How to address supply chain issues with food ERP solutions

FoodBusiness ERP from NexTec is built on Sage X3 to deliver an integrated cloud-based food ERP with functionality that addresses the greatest supply chain challenges for 2020. Built for food and beverage, FoodBusiness ERP includes the following core features:

  • Full financial management
  • Customer and supplier management
  • Real time visibility to inventory levels and cost
  • Recipe management
  • Demand forecasting
  • Yield calculations and tracking through production
  • Byproduct management
  • Quality and hold management at each stage of production
  • Production sequencing and allergen tracking
  • Shelf-life management with expiration and use-by dates controls
  • Warehouse management with barcode printing
  • Full forward and backward traceability
  • Product recall management

FoodBusiness ERP helps food and beverage companies identify the right business software. Our skilled consultants and engineers work with companies like yours at every phase of the process, from specifications and selection to installation and optimization.

Learn more about FoodBusiness ERP.

Woman working in a food production plant.

5 Ways COVID-19 is changing the food and beverage industry

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Woman working in a food production plant.

The Food and Drug Administration is halting in-person inspections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on us all. The massive scale combined with its sheer unpredictability make it challenging to respond. Industries around the world are having to adjust, whether to meet increasing demand or to temporarily suspend operations, the implications are dramatic. With rising infection rates, changes to the way we live, work and eat, and economic downturns, it is an unpredictable time for food and beverage companies.

Here are five ways COVID-19 is changing the food and beverage industry.

1. Food habits, shopping shifts 

There are clear divisions in the food industry at present. Packaged food businesses and grocery chains are booming. However, restaurants, both chains and local small businesses, are having to adjust, especially as they are forced to become takeout-only establishments.

School closures around the country are another major impact. Beverage businesses such as bars, brewpubs, and coffee shops are temporarily suspending operations, sometimes at will and sometimes at the behest of local government regulation. In some states and provinces, liquor stores have been deemed as essential.

2. Supply chain challenges

Supply chain impacts in the United States and Canada have been minimal. However, that may change, especially as trucking availability is affected in hard-hit areas. There is also an impact for companies that may import ingredients or packaging from other geographies. Many growers are heading into the planting season which may be affected as well. With seasonal workforce disruption, there could be other supply chain issues coming around the corner. All these changes mean food and beverage companies need to take steps to adjust to changing supply and demand.

3. Long-term economic conditions

Food businesses are facing long-term uncertainty of a likely recession. At the same time, companies are increasing wages to workers and providing more benefits, such as paid sick leave, to those workers on the front lines. US and Canadian governments have introduced legislation to help those industries and individuals affected by the pandemic. These regulations are ever evolving to meet the changing market conditions.

Grocery worker holding an orange pepper.

Demand for produce has grown in early 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 crisis.

4. Regulatory easing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in mid-March halted foreign and domestic inspections, instructing most employees to work from home. The agency noted it was exploring alternate inspection strategies, including evaluating records in place of onsite inspections. In Canada, the federal government is offering increased flexibility to farmers and allowing foreign workers to enter Canada even though there are border restrictions. Canada will also ensure supply chain integrity by continuing to allow the movement of agri-food products across the border even through there are strict border crossing regulations in place.

5. Dairy, produce remain strong

Retail demand is strong for the dairy industry, despite school closings. Demand in China, the largest importer of U.S. dairy products, is down about 30 percent. In Canada, the dairy supply is expected to remain largely unaffected by COVID-19 which is good news for the US, a major importer of Canadian Dairy products.

Produce demand has seen an uptick, especially as customers seek products high in vitamin C. Sales are increasing across channels, including online, retail and grocery delivery.

Technology solutions in the COVID-19 era

The dramatic volatility facing the industry is unlike anything experienced in modern times. That uncertainty is one of the core reasons why enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are so critical.

Sage X3 delivers predictability and precision for your food or beverage company.  Sage X3 food ERP delivers benefits across your enterprise, including:

  • Supply Chain Management. Manage inventory and stock levels while automating ordering and restocking. Gain transparency across the supply chain to identify bottlenecks and other issues early on.
  • Cost Reduction. Automate tasks, aggregate data, reduce data re-entry and gain insights from real-time reports, allowing your employees to focus on more productive work.
  • Process Improvement. Gain control and visibility throughout production cycles to provide consistent, quality products.
  • Quality Control. Warehouse management and quality control are integrated seamlessly. Track product lots, expiration dates, quantities recipes and movements in real-time, leading to less waste and reduced costs. In the event of a recall, use forward and backward traceability tools to manage incidents better.
  • Customer Service. Generate quotes, track progress and shipments, answer questions and track customer queries in real-time for better outcomes and retention.

NexTec is a proud Sage X3 partner, helping food and beverage companies navigate these uncertain times. Our Sage X3 solution is delivered by our in-house food and beverage industry experts – many of whom come from food and beverage manufacturers and are uniquely able to help you optimize your food ERP solution. See our list of food industry extensions for Sage X3.

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Person standing in a field of cannabis.

Growth in hemp industry necessitates advanced ERP tools

By | Agriculture, Hemp, Sage X3 | No Comments
Woman standing in a field of cannabis plants.

Hemp businesses are facing increased production and pricing uncertainty in a period of dramatic change.

The hemp industry continues to expand at a remarkable rate. Managing that growth in business means companies need to manage the complexities of growth, cultivation, retail, and operations with complex tools that can scale and adapt to handle the additional opportunities.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an ideal way to integrate data, processes, and security across your hemp business. An agriculture ERP solution gives your company a significant competitive advantage.

Here’s a look at why growth in the hemp industry necessitates advanced ERP tools.

State of the hemp industry

The hemp industry is in the midst of the first year hemp could be harvested after the plant was removed from the Controlled Substances Act. Despite there being state-by-state variances in wholesale prices, as hemp becomes a national commodity, there will be a leveling of price as producers compare across state lines. However, for now, there is still a great deal of regional variability in price.

After passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp production became a legal business practice. In the next year, the industry changed rapidly. Hemp-based products are now available at dispensaries, smoke shops, supermarkets, and convenience stores nationwide.

Demand is huge for hemp-based products and the market is starting to respond. According to one database provider, as of September 2019, there were:

  • 12,343 active hemp licenses, with nearly 12,000 of the in the United States and the remainder in Canada
  • 544 active hemp seed licenses in the United States
  • 10,672 active cultivator licenses in 30 states
  • 1,323 active processor license

Cultivation was one of the key growth stories in 2019. There was a significant expansion of cultivation licenses as farmers began growing what is perceived as a highly profitable crop.

The federal Department of Agriculture reported in August 2019 that U.S. farmers nearly quadrupled the amount of land committed to hemp in one year to 128,000 acres in 2019 compared to 27,000 acres in 2018. That 328 percent increase far eclipsed the second-largest growth crop – maple sap, which grew 85 percent in the same period.

According to Cannabiz Media, acreage dedicated to hemp production is growing exponentially – with approved acreage growing by 12 times in Tennessee and by three times in Kentucky.

The math makes sense for farmers to shift to hemp.

“There are a lot of things you can do on a farm, but there aren’t a lot of things you can do to make money,” Will Brownlow, a Kentucky farmer, noted in a 2018 interview shortly after he shifted to hemp. A dense acre of flowers containing CBD could yield $30,000, compared to $500 an acre for soybeans, he said.

“The plant is a weed,” he said. “And it likes to grow.”

The top 10 states with the largest number of cultivator licenses as of September 2019 were:

  1. Tennessee (2,913)
  2. Oregon (2,534)
  3. Kentucky (972)
  4. Colorado (759)
  5. New York (422)
  6. North Carolina (396)
  7. Pennsylvania (328)
  8. Vermont (311)
  9. California (291)
  10. Montana (258)

The top 10 states with the largest amount of land growing hemp in 2018 were:

  1. Montana (13,141 acres)
  2. Colorado (5,562 acres)
  3. Kentucky (4,615 acres)
  4. North Carolina (3,263 acres)
  5. North Dakota (2,669 acres)
  6. Tennessee (726 acres)
  7. Wisconsin (665 acres)
  8. Minnesota (583 acres)
  9. Oregon (496 acres)
  10. New York (332 acres)
Cannabis plant.

States are rapidly expanding the number of approved acres and cultivators for hemp.

A look at several states and hemp production

Here’s a closer look at the state of hemp production in the top three states in 2018 acreage.

  • Colorado. Farmers characterize the regulatory climate as favorable, in keeping with the pioneering role the state has taken in many areas of cannabis and hemp, including the first U.S. pilot hemp program. Colorado faces a challenging actual climate for hemp production. The arid, low-humidity climate means crops are thirsty, with high irrigation demands during peak growing seasons – May to October. However, in 2019, heavy rains hurt early planting, meaning farmers had to rework fields several times. Severe weather can also be an issue, with both long snow seasons and hailstorms in northern Colorado always a threat.
    • June 2019 Supply
      • Licensed acres: 80,000
      • Licensed indoor square footage: 9 million
      • Licensed growers: 2,300 active registrants
  • Product Prices
    • Hemp flower: $200 to $500 per pound
    • Whole-plant biomass: $25 to $60 per pound
  • Kentucky. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a vocal champion for his state’s hemp business and drove the crop’s inclusion in the 2018 Farm Bill. In 2019, the state approved 5 times as many hemp farmers and triple the acres than in 2018. A very wet spring has meant a challenging growing season.
    • March 2019 Supply
      • Licensed acres: 58,000
      • Licensed indoor square footage: 6 million
      • Licensed growers: 1,047
  • Product Prices
    • Hemp flower: $200 to $400 per pound
    • Whole-plant biomass: $25 to $40 per pound
  • Montana. The top producer in 2018 predicts to double production in 2019. Long known for grain production, hemp is a promising option for farmers facing difficult tariffs. The state has passed laws that make it easier for hemp farmers, too. The dry northern climate means a short growing season and permission to tap into federal water resources on a case-by-case basis.
    • June 2019 Supply
      • Licensed acres: 40,000
      • Licensed indoor square footage: Unknown
      • Licensed growers: 250
  • Product Prices
    • Hemp flower: $200 to $400 per pound
    • Whole-plant biomass: $40 to $60 per pound

Impact of legalization on hemp companies

With the legalization of hemp cultivation, the impact on cannabis companies has been significant. Companies today need to be increasingly vigilant about changes in the industry.

Price

Pricing was a complicated issue in 2019. The increase in cultivators and acres committed to hemp has meant an overproduction of the product, leading to extensive supply. That production may be outpacing consumer interest, driving a reduction in pricing across the country.

According to one analysis, CBD isolate prices fell from a high of $9,470 per kilogram in October 2018 to $4,133 per kilogram in August 2019, a decline of more than 50 percent in less than a year.

This pattern is not unexpected. As Hempgrower.com noted, cannabis markets behaved similarly in the year after legalization. The states of Oregon and Washington each saw “an immediate spike in prices, followed by a dramatic oversupply and subsequent price crash. Only now is the Washington market beginning to feel a shortage in the cannabis market—a correction, of sorts—signaling a stabilizing process.”

Regulation

Regulation also contributes greatly to the uncertainty facing the hemp industry today. While the federal government has not yet issued any guidelines on hemp growing, many states and local jurisdictions are creating mandates in the growing, use, sales, banking and documentation required for hemp companies to remain in business.

The many different regulatory structures is a complex issue that is best served by a hemp ERP solution that monitors and tracks data, provides reporting on demand, and generates documentation necessary for each different regulating entity.

There are also the very tangible constraints that regulatory pressure is putting on farmers. Take THC content, for example. Restrictions on potency are common and need to be addressed by each farmer, who may not be familiar with growing techniques for this hands-on crop.

Long Term 

The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly spells out that industrial hemp is any cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It also makes clear that cannabidol (CBD) is still classified by the Food and Drug Administration as a drug ingredient that is illegal to include in food or health products without FDA approval.

This uncertainty in terms of federal regulation means that farmers and companies are taking the long view when it comes to markets and growth, believing that the federal-state-local discrepancies will eventually shake out.

Using hemp ERP to drive business success

Rapid growth, regulatory mandates and price uncertainty means having an ERP that can accomplish the myriad skills your cannabusiness needs. Sage X3 offers an ERP product with your hemp business in mind.

With Sage X3, you have access to a powerful tool that provides best-practices ERP software to integrate data, deliver transparency and productivity and improve business outcomes. For cannabis and hemp companies, Sage X3 offers industry-specific advantages including:

  • Traceability via RFID, barcode or manual entry
  • Operational data capture
  • Intuitive user interfaces
  • A configurable quality control module
  • The ability to integrate with state and province regulatory systems

NexTec helps companies manage their business software needs. Our experts offer extensive expertise into the vendors, products and features for enterprise resource planning and other software tools.

In partnership with Sage X3, NexTec has developed a single platform for managing your hemp business. From operations management to distribution, NexTec’s Hemp Business Technology solution delivers industry-specific value, including:

  • Financial and operational management
  • Traceability controls at each phase
    • Plant processing including drying, trimming, curing, extraction, product manufacturing, testing, and packaging
    • Inventory tracking, pre-delivery and delivery
  • Product recall management
  • Complaint management
  • Production scheduling
  • Supply chain management and distribution
  • CBD production processing
  • Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

With Sage X3 and NexTec, your cannabis business can stay ahead of the rapidly changing cannabis and hemp industry changes.

Learn more about technology that runs your hemp business.

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Farmer looking at a tablet while standing in his field.

Agriculture ERP: Streamline your accounting and inventory reporting

By | Agriculture, ERP | No Comments
Farmer using a tablet while standing in his field.

Technology in agriculture is growing.

Agriculture technology and automation don’t just apply to field operations. Like other industries that have turned their eyes and ears to tech, agriculture companies can enjoy the same benefits of uniting their accounting and inventory reporting in a single platform, called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), that delivers deeper visibility into the business.

Managing business operations and growing profits are accomplished through a multitude of smaller, complex, interwoven tasks, many of which can be streamlined by shifting away from outdated tools like spreadsheets and fragmented systems in favor of a comprehensive solution.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in Agriculture

By definition, ERP is a flexible, scalable software solution that unites multiple business activities into a single function. In the agriculture sector, an ERP can provide an anchor point for financial data, inventory management, sales, purchasing, quality and compliance data, labor, and more.

In the agricultural sector, Sage X3 is a leading platform that can accomplish all of the above. Take a look at some of the key reasons why agriculture companies are finding a better way of doing business with Sage X3 agriculture ERP and NexTec:

Provide end-to-end farm management

Rows of crops in a field.

An advanced agriculture ERP simplifies multiple aspects of agriculture operations.

The right ERP has the capacity to manage multiple aspects of farm business operations, including purchasing, contracts, labor, inventory and warehouse management and complex costing and pricing models. It can also provide full end to end traceability including Country of Origin.  Having all the information in one place allows agriculture businesses to optimize and see true costs.

Eliminate resource-draining paper trails

One of the most notable benefits of using an ERP is the fact that many agri-businesses can replace many of their outdated, time-consuming, paper-intensive manual processes with a software solution.

Clunky spreadsheets are inefficient and prone to error, even though they’re still widely used in managing farm operations. But by switching to an agriculture ERP, companies get a centralized, searchable database where they can find and input information quickly and eliminate the costly need to print paper records or make calculations by hand.

Implementation is the key to accelerating and maximizing ROI

On the surface, the benefits of shifting to an agriculture ERP are hard to ignore. However, the key to tapping into the expected benefits is through diligent, well-executed implementation with the help of NexTec. Switching to an agriculture ERP like Sage X3 doesn’t happen overnight, and once your system is set up and ready to use, you’ll also face a learning curve as you learn to work with the software.

Choosing the right implementation partner can have a major impact on what your ERP can help you accomplish, and how quickly your company can start leveraging it to its potential. NexTec specializes in working with agriculture companies to get their Sage X3 ERP operating as smoothly as possible so they can realize a swift, positive ROI. Discover how we can help you grow efficiency in your agricultural business.

Learn More about ERP

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Cannabis plants.

Industrial hemp regulations published: Here’s what you need to know

By | Agriculture, ERP, Hemp | No Comments

Cannabis plants.Though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp, stakeholders have been operating under some degree of uncertainty due to a lack of USDA regulations. However, on October 29, 2019, the USDA released its interim final rule for domestic hemp production regulations, clarifying certain aspects of hemp production. Production of hemp is legal in 46 states, with Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Dakota being the exceptions.

Farmers who grow hemp must be licensed under state or tribal hemp growing programs, or by the USDA. There can be significant differences among states concerning how hemp is grown and sold. States and tribes can have primary regulatory authority over hemp production, with USDA approval.

Granting of licenses for production of hemp will begin November 30, and growers will be required to report their hemp acreage to the Farm Services Agency, so the agency can learn how much hemp is grown, and in what parts of the country.

Testing and proof of acceptable THC levels

The new USDA interim rule clarifies some questions about THC limits (which must remain under 0.3%) and testing of crops. Testing of hemp flower material must be done within 15 days of anticipated crop harvest, though there is still some uncertainty about how testing labs will deal with backlogs. Also uncertain is how the USDA will handle potential increases in THC levels after testing is completed, but before crops are harvested.

DEA-registered labs must be used for crop testing. The USDA’s sampling and testing procedure guidelines were issued in separate documents from the interim rule so that any necessary changes to those specific guidelines can be made more quickly.

Requirements for “hot crops” and criminal background checks

Noncompliant plants or “hot crops” (those with THC levels above 0.3%) must still be disposed of under procedures of the Controlled Substances Act, so hemp farmers will not be able to use them for composting under the interim rule.

As for farmworkers, farmers will be required to complete criminal history reports for “key participants” who have direct financial interest in the business, such as owners and partners. Shift managers, field workers, and the like will not have to submit criminal history reports, and this should ease the problem of hiring farm laborers in a tight labor market.

Interstate shipment of hemp plants

The 2018 farm bill and subsequent USDA memos affirmed states’ and tribes’ rights to regulate the production of hemp within their borders, but states and tribes may not restrict the transportation of hemp within their borders. This is good news for hemp farmers because it grants them easier access to nationwide markets without having to worry about transporting crops through states that still prohibit hemp production.

Comment period ends December 30

The 60-day public comment period for this interim USDA rule ends on December 30, 2019. Members of the public who want to comment on the rule can do so through the portal at regulations.gov. Comments can also be sent by mail or fax to the address and fax number indicated on the Federal Register page for the interim rule.

In October 2021, the interim rule will expire and will be replaced by a final rule. This two-year period will allow enough time for the 2020 growing season to take place so that farmers and public officials can gauge which parts of the rule work well, and which parts may need adjustment.

Agriculture ERP can streamline compliance for hemp production

Agriculture is heavily regulated, and hemp producers will have to follow additional regulations. An outstanding ERP foundation like Sage X3, with added features for agriculture built by NexTec, will be essential for hemp producers to manage their crops and demonstrate traceability. Additionally, NexTec and Sage Business Cloud enable farmers to create flexible quality control programs that incorporate crop testing and workflows.

NexTec and Sage X3 make ideal partners for hemp production. NexTec’s extensive experience in both consulting and the industry, combined with the most experienced Sage X3 team in the industry ensure that customers get the best possible results from their technology investment. Find out how to build your ERP project team.

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Man standing outside looking at his phone with farm icons displaying.

The right ERP addresses these 5 agriculture industry challenges

By | Agriculture, ERP | No Comments
Person outside looking at their phone with farm icons.

Agribusinesses need to address complex operational challenges to remain competitive.

Agriculture businesses are facing increased pressures to keep prices down, combat ongoing geopolitical tariff battles, satisfy evolving customer demands and stay in compliance with increasing regulatory mandates.

To handle these complex challenges, agribusinesses need the right business software solutions. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that are designed for the agriculture industry can solve many of these challenges. The right ERP addresses these 5 agriculture industry challenges.

1. Managing production efficiently

Coordinating the supply chain, seasons and scheduling of employees and equipment is essential for agricultural efficiency, especially if multiple farms are in play.

The right ERP system gives you functional efficiency at each phase of planning and production, and visibility to:

  • Crops planted
  • Cost capture information
  • Business partners
  • Planting and sowing data
  • Production forecasts and actuals
  • Tasks and employee data

When production needs to be scheduled, NexTec’s Sage X3 agriculture solution provides you with scheduling tools that let you organize resources — machines and people, quantities and segments.

2. Addressing pricing pressures

Commodity prices have been a challenge for many agribusinesses in the past 12 months. Changing trade policies, tariffs and geopolitical gamesmanship have dealt a blow to agricultural business, creating extraordinary uncertain conditions. That’s why businesses are turning to new technologies such as the Internet of Things, automation and blockchain to collect and use more data. Data can be an invaluable asset, not only in improving operations and improving price margins, but also as a commodity that can be leveraged to create new revenue opportunities. With specific functionality for agriculture built on the trusted Sage X3 platform, NexTec gives your business the right tools to collect and use data to relieve pricing pressure.

3. Meeting regulatory demands

With more regulations in play at the federal, state and local levels, it’s more important than ever that agricultural companies have ERP solutions that can track data and keep records for quality and safety. Regulations require companies to have highly detailed systems to track data, trace products and ingredients and provide documentation on demand. With NexTec as your agriculture ERP partner, you have the tools available to manage quality and compliance.

Person holding freshly picked cucumbers.

The right agriculture ERP can fuel efficiency and transparency.

4. Managing supply procurement

Resource management is an important topic. Input prices on water, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides are increasing and resources, such as water and land are becoming scarcer. Managing resources – from supply chain management to planning to analysis – requires an ERP that can provide the necessary tools.

5. Increasing legalization of hemp

As cannabis products, including hemp, become legal in more and more states, agribusinesses have to assess the viability of entering the business. The demand for cannabis and hemp continues to skyrocket, but is rife with various regulatory and crop-specific needs. Your ERP needs to be able to track the components, yields and regulatory requirements inherent to the cannabis and hemp industry.

NexTec’s agricultural ERP centralizes data and processes in one platform, giving your teams the transparency and versatility that make decision-making better. Manage all aspects of your growing operations, track inventory and equipment, forecast future yields and scale quickly with Sage X3 and NexTec.

NexTec helps companies select, implement and optimize top business software solutions like Sage X3. To learn more, give NexTec and Sage X3 a try.

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Farmer sitting in a green house typing on a laptop.

Enterprise resource planning and sustainability in agriculture

By | Agriculture, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Farmer in a large greenhouse typing on a laptop computer.

Agricultural businesses need the right ERP to fully commit to sustainability efforts.

While sustainability is an important issue in many industries, it’s critically important in agriculture. Technology, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, can play an important role in sustainability for agribusinesses.

When it comes to enterprise resource planning and sustainability in agriculture, Sage X3 has the functionality and industry-specific features that help companies thrive.

Defining sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is a focus on practices that provide for society’s current food needs without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to meet their needs. Sustainability in agribusiness means maintaining a healthy environment while continuing to be profitable.

The challenge is that for many big agribusinesses, sustainability has not always been a top priority. A recent Medium article notes that at big farms “ideas around environmental sustainability are not only a low priority, they’re simply not discussed.” At smaller farms, while there is more discussion of sustainability, it’s sometimes just used for marketing purposes.

“Many of the farmers who care the most about sustainability can’t afford to put it into practice,” the article notes. “Raising plants and animals in a way that benefits (or at least doesn’t harm) the earth, the farmworkers, the animals, and the consumers is incredibly expensive. And Americans don’t like to pay a lot for food.”

Two farmers walking in their field.

Retailers and consumers alike are demanding more commitment to sustainability.

Why technology will make a difference

The reality is that the importance of sustainability is growing, driven by both corporations and customers.

On the corporate side, retailers are looking to their suppliers to demonstrate a commitment to and actions that drive sustainability across the board. Walmart, for example, has implemented a Sustainability Index program. The index collects and analyzes data on each product’s lifecycle, working with suppliers to improve sustainability efforts. Walmart provides suppliers with their scores, how they rank in comparison with other suppliers in the same field, and insights on how to improve sustainability.

At a more granular level, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil requires companies to comply with environmental and social criteria to be certified as a sustainable product.

Consumers are driving some of the corporate work, while the use of social media allows for consumer voices to be amplified and connected on sustainability issues.

For agribusinesses, having an ERP that tracks and demonstrates sustainability is critical. In many cases, these issues relate to inefficiencies in supply chain management. Here are some of the ways the right ERP solution can help:

  • Resource Efficiency. Supply chain optimization can reduce transportation mileage at each stage, reducing emissions and environmental impact.
  • Shipment Management. When suppliers and partners are not communicating well or have inadequate, incorrect or different information, shipments, ingredients, and products suffer.
  • Inventory Management. Agile supply chain management means a responsive, flexible and quick approach to day-to-day operations. This approach may have the greatest impact on inventory management, with real-time data on existing stock and expiration dates to ensure that the right ingredients and products are used in the right order.
  • Wastage Management. When you have better systems for predicting usage and tracking your supply chain, you can reduce the amount of waste, a powerful measure that can be used internally and externally.

Sage X3 provides agribusinesses with integrated functions designed to serve the industry. NexTec provides guidance on the selection, implementation, and optimization of agriculture ERP solutions.

Learn more about how Sage and NexTec can help your agribusiness improve its commitment to sustainability. Take a free tour of Sage X3 to learn more.