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Finding a Food ERP and Solutions Provider That Instills Your Business with Confidence

Finding a Food ERP and Solutions Provider That Instills Your Business with Confidence

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Finding a Food ERP and Solutions Provider That Instills Your Business with Confidence

Oct 18, 2021

John McCurdy
Food and beverage business leaders meet and shake hands.

While enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are increasingly seen as the ideal foundation for digital transformation at food and beverage businesses, there’s still much to be done in terms of optimizing these platforms to suit the organizations that use them.

Missing features and problems with accessibility can be major issues when food companies are trying to find the right offering for their unique circumstances, but some other flaws of ERP solutions are even more fatal. The onus falls on the system providers to ensure that their products don’t succumb to these critical shortcomings.

Here are three key characteristics of ERP systems and the vendors that sell them that will allow your food and beverage business to operate with confidence going forward.

Building in Industry-Specific Features

ERP solutions are frequently billed as unified, cross-functional platforms, and though it is an excellent advantage of the technology, food and beverage businesses like yours need more out of their systems. You have highly specialized processes for the manufacture of your products, and your ingredients have important attributes that must be closely tracked and maintained throughout transit along the supply chain.

Consider that, through the survey conducted for IDC’s Global Food and Beverage Industry Trends and Strategic Insights 2021 whitepaper, food safety and traceability was identified as the top focus for risk mitigation by both line-of-business and IT professionals, with 37% of respondents selecting that option. Properly covering all concerns on that front takes features built for the task, like automatic inspection scheduling and bidirectional visibility of comprehensive, granular data from source to destination.

Only solutions built specifically for food and beverage companies—like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP—have such functionalities built in. That’s why your organization needs a provider who really understands the industry and “speaks the language” of food and beverage, including in-depth knowledge of best practices and extensive experience with clients from across a variety of sectors.

Expectations for ERP system performance are understandably high, as they require a significant investment of finances, effort and time. Only a platform truly tailored to the challenges of the space will match up with these demands, and vendors must prove to you that they’re up to the task by accounting for the nuanced needs of the food and beverage marketplace.

Providing a Clear Product Roadmap and Streamlined Updates

A common complaint aimed at enterprise software providers is that their communications with customers are either too infrequent, too unclear, or worse, both. After all, if your business were to go to the lengths necessary to put a food ERP system in place, you would no doubt expect your vendor to be clear and consistent with regards to the direction of their product’s roadmap and updates that will be applied.

Being agile and having the ability to adjust to changes to the industry landscape—such as new regulatory requirements or integrations with emergent technology—is key for providers to demonstrate their dedication to making their products better. At Aptean, we built our solution on the rock-solid framework of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and keep our finger on the pulse of food and beverage so that we can innovate and add new tools suited to the latest developments.

Our flexible cloud deployment options can entirely relieve clients of the responsibility of applying updates, as our teams will automatically install all necessary patches and upgrades. That, in turn, helps our users avoid the need for costly customizations, as we’re busy finding the best ways to overcome issues and tackle new tasks as they arise.

What’s more, the IDC survey revealed another benefit of cloud ERP system setups. While more than 80% of participants indicated that their food and beverage business had seen improvement in multiple KPIs since going live with their solution, those with cloud deployments saw gains between 8 and 18% higher compared to those with on-premise installations.

This demonstrates the importance of finding a solutions provider with a clearly defined plan for their product and flexible implementation options to suit your unique circumstances. With a partner like that on your side, you can feel comfortable that you’ll get the most out of your new platform.

Facilitating a Smooth Implementation Process

The implementation of an ERP platform can be a long and involved process, and it takes the commitment of both the food and beverage business purchasing the solution and the provider involved to get it right. Unfortunately, far too often the journey gets bogged down due to an unclear vision or a lack of involvement on the part of a key party.

A food and beverage ERP system vendor should act as a partner to its clients, getting to know their organizations and working closely with their teams to create a detailed plan for deployment. This schedule should be separated into distinct stages, each with their own milestones to optimize the process and ensure success. The provider should also offer guidance based on observations and prior implementations with other customers to help each phase go as smoothly as possible.

We recognize that the concept of digital transformation is new to many companies, as 32% of respondents to the IDC survey indicated that lack of awareness and knowledge of available solutions was one of their primary barriers to modernization. Aptean professionals go the extra mile when it comes to keeping clients fully informed every step of the way, making sure all options are presented and considered and the optimal path is taken based on what’s best for your business.

We also pride ourselves on excellent support, with reliable IT teams and redundant servers that keep uptime at a maximum, and the excellent Microsoft Dynamics 365 framework that Aptean Food & Beverage ERP is built upon. And those are just two of the reasons that organizations that choose us as their vendor are in good hands from start to finish.

The Extra Assurance of Aptean Solutions

For decades, Aptean has been a trusted provider of ERP systems, with hundreds of successful implementations at food and beverage businesses completed and a track record of excellent customer service. We live and breathe the food and beverage industry, knowing the ins and outs of each segment, so companies can rest assured that our platform will perform optimally whether they process frozen foods, manufacture snacks or distribute produce.

We’re invested in our clients’ outcomes and are proud to play a role in helping them realize results and make progress on important goals. The many case studies available on our Insights page attest to the impact of our solutions in practice.

If you’d like to hear more about what Aptean's food ERP system can do for your organization, contact us today. And if you haven’t already, download a free copy of the IDC Global Food and Beverage Industry Trends and Strategic Insights 2021 whitepaper.

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