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Shedding Light on the Lesser-Known Benefits of ERP Software for Food Manufacturing
Shedding Light on the Lesser-Known Benefits of ERP Software for Food Manufacturing
27 Oct 2022Jack Payne
Most food and beverage industry professionals with a general understanding of enterprise resource planning (ERP) are aware of the high-level benefits that the technology offers, including more informed decision-making via a unified digital database and bi-directional traceability thanks to dedicated supply chain management features among other must-have food ERP features.
But those who dig deeper and really learn the ins and outs of these systems are bound to discover more advantages to appreciate. By choosing a purpose-built, industry-specific solution, you’ll find additional tools to leverage for better results and specific ways in which improvement can be realized beyond the expected.
These lesser-known or “hidden” benefits of food ERP software for food manufacturing merit further exploration, as the food and beverage landscape is a competitive and dynamic space and companies like yours are motivated to get the edge on other brands and claim a larger market share. We’ll cover some that are offered by a variety of food and beverage ERPs—given that you know which functionalities can unlock them—as well as some that are unique to our own offering, Aptean Food & Beverage ERP.
Lesser-Known Benefits of ERPs for Food Manufacturing
The following benefits might not get the headlines, but they’re still highly valuable for food and beverage manufacturers. Keep in mind this short list isn’t exhaustive—there are other advantages that aren’t discussed as much as the top-line items—but these are some of the most noteworthy, as they each can help you secure future success and create processes that fuel growth.
1. Better Seasonal Preparedness
By taking advantage of the forecasting and planning features of a food manufacturing ERP, you can better align your supply to the anticipated demand and stay ahead of seasonal spikes that occur in your product segment.
It’s best if your software can account for both historical sales data as well as emergent trends to create reliable projections, as both should be used to inform your predictions to help you capitalize on opportunities for earning without ending up with excess stock you can’t sell.
2. Increased Workforce Productivity
ERPs for food manufacturing are typically built to automate many of the manual tasks that would otherwise fall to your already busy employees, and thus can save both time and effort.
When quality and compliance checks can be automatically triggered by the system and handheld barcode scanner integrations take the tedium out of inventory processes, your employees are free to concentrate on more mission-critical tasks.
3. Reduced Waste
The expiration management features of food ERPs let you stay on top of the windows of viability for both raw materials and finished goods, which helps you get the most out of your investments and put products to use before they spoil and become waste.
Quality control features also assist in identifying errors in your manufacturing processes so that you can minimize the amount of scrap and rework that’s necessary, saving you money and time.
Benefits Exclusive to Aptean Food & Beverage ERP
These are some of the benefits and associated features that you won’t find elsewhere—at least not to the degree that Aptean Food & Beverage ERP can deliver on them. These key differentiators for our solution demonstrate our deep understanding of the operational complexities that food and beverage manufacturers face, as well as the tools that they need to overcome the toughest challenges.
1. Greater Flexibility with Trade Management
The Trade Management module for Aptean Food & Beverage ERP allows you to create separate trade plans for each of your trade agreements and supports the use of different trade rate configurations within a single plan. You can also calculate order rebates, royalties, billbacks and payables directly or via accruals.
All of this adds up to give your business more flexibility when working with trade partners, whether they’re upstream or downstream in the supply chain. That, in turn, drives profitability, as you’re able to seize upon opportunities as they arise and work with a wider variety of suppliers and clients.
2. Improved Profitability with Advanced Hierarchical Pricing
With the Advanced Pricing module of our solution, you can define sales prices and discounts in units of measure beyond the typical sales unit. We’ve also included functionality to assign prices from multiple pricing tiers that span different customer groups, as well as the option to use the shipment date or requested/promised delivery date for price calculations.
This improves your company’s profitability, as you’re able to adjust your prices according to market conditions and maximize your margins when the balance of supply and demand is in your favor. Knowing that the bottom line is a critical concern for every food and beverage business, this can make a considerable difference.
3. Actionable Insights with Business Intelligence
Aptean Food & Beverage ERP offers a streamlined integration with Aptean Business Intelligence (BI), our solution dedicated to advanced data analytics powered by machine learning that improves forecasting capabilities and enables better strategic decision-making. It comes with robust reporting features for more than 500 key performance indicators out of the proverbial box, with over 300 that are specific to the food and beverage industry.
With BI on your side, you can automate the relevant data collection processes and set triggers to deploy alerts when certain conditions are met and run simulations to determine the impacts of potential decisions. The actionable insights our solution yields can lead to measurable positive impacts across a wide variety of operational areas.
4. Improved Visibility with Inbound/Outbound Order Management
The warehouse management features built into Aptean Food & Beverage ERP allow you to track all inbound and outbound shipments directly within the solution without needing to access a separate platform. You can also link warehouse receipts to purchase orders to create an easily indexable system and maintain all received and shipped product data in a central location.
What’s more, our Transport module helps you visualize your transportation needs and calculate the floor space necessary for incoming and outbound orders to compare to your actual floor space. This alleviates bottlenecks and gives you complete visibility into the movement of your goods.
Partner with Aptean for Superior Results
These lesser-known benefits of ERP software for food manufacturing illustrate how these solutions really are all-in-one, organization-wide platforms that make an excellent foundation for digital transformation, which is an imperative in today’s market. You can also use these to help you compare your solution options for a food ERP system and determine which will best suit your business’s distinct needs as a food manufacturer.
That being said, there are some compelling reasons to believe that your selection process should begin and end with Aptean's food ERP. Our solution is built on the strength of decades of industry experience and in-depth knowledge of best practices in food and beverage manufacturing operations, and we strive to act as not just a provider—but a valued partner for each of our clients.
Aptean Food & Beverage ERP has the additional advantage of offering unique, industry-specific technology built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform, which gives the system a familiar look and feel, making it easy and intuitive to use. We also encourage cloud-based implementations on the software as a service (SaaS) model, as these afford you even more flexibility and save on up-front hardware costs.
Finally, the software’s recent recognition from Frost & Sullivan also stands as a testament to the future-focused and advanced nature of our offering. By awarding Aptean Food & Beverage ERP with their 2022 Product Leadership Award in North American ERP Software for the Food and Beverage Industry, the independent research firm acknowledged how our solution goes beyond the “expected” functionalities of comparable systems.
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