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A Quick Guide to Grower Management for Food and Beverage Businesses

A Quick Guide to Grower Management for Food and Beverage Businesses


Explore Fresh Produce ERP

A Quick Guide to Grower Management for Food and Beverage Businesses

14 Jun 2022

John McCurdy
A collection of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Considering most food and beverage businesses rely on agricultural products as the inputs for their finished goods, managing the suppliers of those materials—that is, the firms that actually plant, grow and harvest them—is essential.

Of course, as your company scales up and expands its suite of offerings, a greater variety of inputs will be necessary, and the number of different growers involved in your supply chain will increase as a result. That can complicate matters, but a purpose-built, industry-specific software solution can help your organization rise up and conquer the challenge.

In this post, we’ll cover the three key components of grower management—logistics, accounting and the intangible aspects of your partnerships—as well as how an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP helps you succeed on all fronts.

The Logistics

With traceability an industry imperative and closely linked to food safety and regulatory compliance, having visibility into the logistics of your supply chain is crucial. And as your network of growers expands, the value of having a fully digital interface for the management of your suppliers and all information associated with them and the ingredients they provide will become apparent.

The supply chain logistics features of our food ERP allow you to:

  • Collect and update critical data associated with growers and their products

  • Track individual lots of ingredients back to their source

  • Isolate contaminations quickly to head off food safety emergencies

  • Coordinate ordering, inventory and freshness ranges to optimize stock levels

Our ERP can act as the “single source of truth” for your entire company, keeping everyone on the same page and facilitating smooth operations and complete bidirectional traceability as you work with a variety of different growers.

The Accounting

At the end of the day, the growers you rely upon are businesses too, and that means that the financial component of your agreements will play a significant role in your partnerships. Ensuring that each is paid on time and according to the parameters that both parties have accepted ahead of time is thus a vital part of the process of grower management.

The dedicated grower accounting tools that Aptean Food & Beverage ERP provides let you:

  • Set up a complete grower profile for each of your suppliers with all critical payment information

  • Segment commodities based on unique properties, like harvest years and varieties

  • Establish payment schedules based on delivery frequency and seasonal demand

  • Incorporate quality test results to ensure a fair final price is reached

What’s more, because our ERP solution is designed to be a cross-functional platform for your whole organization, all updates made with grower accounting features will automatically be applied to your master financial records in the system.

The Intangibles

While your partnerships with growers are primarily focused on achieving positive business outcomes, it’s important to recognize that there is a human side of the equation as well. Creating a good rapport with the organizations in your supply chain as well as their individual representatives will go a long way in facilitating dependably excellent results.

In order to foster a healthy relationship with your grower partners, you should:

  • Understand the grower, including their farming methods, local climate and unique challenges

  • Implement consistent procedures to establish expectations and fair dealings with all parties

  • Optimize your approach by automating simple tasks and focusing on more critical functions

  • Consider hiring an employee dedicated to grower management

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP has a fully configurable and flexible backend that can help your staff capture complete contact details—so you always know you’re reaching out to the right person when it’s time to schedule a meeting with a grower—as well as special notes to cover the individual firm’s nuances and preferences.

The Right Solution for Holistic, Informed Grower Management

If you’re interested in stepping up your company’s grower management efforts with ERP software, it’s important to keep in mind that not all systems on the market are created equal. Likewise, the providers of these solutions vary in their levels of technical know-how and industry-specific knowledge, so it’s important to conduct further research and use the right selection criteria as you shop for the right fit.

For the best of both worlds in terms of a modern, streamlined platform and in-depth food and beverage expertise, Aptean is a trusted name in the business solutions space. We have thousands of successful implementations to date that are helping organizations around the world achieve their goals while successfully navigating a dynamic, disruptive and highly competitive marketplace.

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP has a full suite of features to help you excel in not only grower logistics, accounting and relationships but also quality management, recipe formulation and other vital areas of operations.

What’s more, we offer cloud deployments that maximize agility and accessibility through a software as a service (SaaS) model, which means lower up-front costs and increased security with redundant offsite servers and dedicated IT support teams.

Ready to hear more about our industry-specific food ERP solution, Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, and how it can help your company master grower management? Contact us today, or request a personalized demo.

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