Why ERP offers food for thought for the food and drink sector

Over the last few decades the food industry has undergone a huge transformation in the choice, quality, safety and affordability of the food we eat every day. The sector contributes in the region of £80 billion to the economy, making up the largest manufacturing sector and employs around 3.6 million people.

It’s vast, it’s complicated and it has to be managed tightly and efficiently. As a result there is, as there should be, a greater emphasis on food safety and stringent food regulations. It’s highly competitive and that’s why ERP solutions are now an essential tool to ensuring food manufacturers stay on track and deliver exceptional customer service levels at all times.

The sector is no different in many ways to other manufacturing industries in that it must optimise processes to be more efficient and increase profits but it does have one main difference – perishable ingredients and a consumer that is driven by eating healthier, buying better and getting more value from what they buy. It is constantly threatened by epidemics such as bird flu and similar issues outside of the food manufacturer’s control, which means that managing visibility over the supply chain is a vital task if a food manufacturer is to continue to be successful.

And it is these tough challenges linking traceability, inventory control, documentation management, barcoding and labeling, supply chain management, distribution and safety together that ERP comes into its own by providing complete visibility over the entire manufacturing process from a single-source system that can be accessed by all departments in the organisation at any time and from anywhere.

Keeping a sharp eye on data to innovate and streamline processes, minimise waste and ensure the accuracy of ingredients is key to being able to deliver produce on time to retailers, butchers, and consumer facing businesses. Handling life-limited stock can be a costly business if not managed effectively so the need for end-to-end traceability is essential – not to mention the importance of staying on top of on-going operational costs and time to market.

In an industry where traceability is the fundamental priority, it is no wonder that food and beverage companies remain reliant on ERP. Whether it’s managing inventory, quality and safety checks, labeling, or tracking goods in transit, ERP offers complete visibility from receipt through to processing, packaging and shipping helping food manufacturers to remain competitive in a busy market, but more importantly, ensure that the end produce is safe and compliant.

Food manufacturers have so many areas to focus on in order to comply with regulations whilst also staying successful in business. We have expertise gained over many years, working with manufacturers to help their operations run smoothly and efficiently by utilising ERP to the full, integrating seamlessly with complementary software that further enhances the customers’ processes. In an age where supply chain visibility is becoming more important, and food manufacturers are being forced to respond to more regulatory standards, ERP has become an essential tool for food manufacturers to remain profitable and competitive.

See how our SYSPRO solutions are helping food manufacturers, read our industry case studies here.

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