The pressure is on food and beverage manufacturers today. Companies today face growing complexity of expanding SKUs, shrinking product lifecycles, and increasing requirements for traceability.
As seen in the recent Comprehensive guide to key ERP functionalities in foods and beverages, companies need powerful tools to help keep pace with the constantly changing demands for innovation, taste, and efficiency.
Companies are turning to enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools to address these critical needs. An ERP solution integrates key functionality throughout the enterprise, from operations to warehouse management to finance. This integration lets companies anticipate, predict, and address needs quickly, giving them a competitive advantage.
Here’s a closer look at safety and regulatory functionalities in foods and beverages.
An ERP solution needs to include functionality to trace ingredients, batches, and products from source to customer. Too many manufacturers have relied on paper and pencil to trace usage throughout the supply chain and the various processes used by today’s food or beverage companies.
Traceability functions allow for granular tracking from the moment an ingredient is purchased until it is received by the end customer. These traceability tools provide companies with faster, better responses during a recall, allowing for identification, communication, and reporting to regulators, stakeholders and the public.
Quality control and brand management
A 2017 report by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies found that 80 percent of food and beverage manufacturers had more than 100 SKUs, with more than half predicting that number to increase.
Maintaining accuracy and consistency in the wake of such product complexity requires ERP functionalities that address accuracy and automation. Food and beverage companies need quality control functions that ensure accurate measuring and labeling, recipe and batch management capabilities, and operational planning tools to make the best use of production time. These tools provide for brand consistency and better responses to growing SKU listings.
Supply chain management
Consumer tastes are evolving rapidly, drawing on a global pantry of flavors. Consumer demand can evolve quickly, giving companies an opportunity to meet needs with new products.
To do so requires enterprise resource planning software with powerful supply chain management tools to source ingredients, inventory management capabilities to use the freshest raw materials, analytics tools, and integrated marketing and sales functions. Working together, employees and partners can develop, market, and sell new products with shorter to-market turnarounds.
The recently adopted U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act requires manufacturers to identify potential threats, develop remedies, track safeguards, and ensure suppliers are compliant with safety guidelines. With increased accountability for food safety, companies need to find automation tools to track, record and report on these efforts. The FSMA’s documentation expectations mean companies need ERP functionality that allows for regulatory compliance.
Scheduling batches, equipment, personnel, transportation – not to mention inventory and warehouse management – is complicated. Using food ERP functionality, companies can fully leverage their manufacturing capabilities, informed by anticipated sales, predictive analytics, business intelligence, and availability.
At NexTec, we work with food and beverage manufacturers to understand their unique needs and capabilities. Contact us to see how we help companies identify and implement the right ERP solution that creates innovative products and improved operations.