ERP for the Food Manufacturing Industry: A Recipe for Success

ERP for the food manufacturing

George Bernard Shaw, the much-decorated Irish playwright, once famously said: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food”. And how correct was he! We may love our parents, our spouse, our kids, our friends, and our siblings. We may have a love for music, arts, traveling, and sports, and may even have affection for our favorite sports teams. We may love a whole lot of things, but nothing quite comes closer to the love we have for our food.

Think of it, the ‘other loves’ of your life may cause you a heartbreak, and may even disappoint you in some way or the other. But not the food. It will consistently please and satisfy you, and act as a great mood booster. Most importantly, being the most essential requirement for sustenance of human life, food helps you survive and sustain. No wonder, the food manufacturing industry has a crucial role to play in society.

And, in turn, a powerful food ERP software has a crucial role to play in these food manufacturing businesses.

Why is food ERP software needed?

The food & beverages manufacturing industry faces challenges that are diverse and demanding, just as the industry is. It consists of a number of verticals like seafood, dairy, meat & poultry, packaged food, bakery products, fresh produce, organic food, edible oil, beer, and other beverages etc., thus making it one of the largest sectors in the process manufacturing landscape. Naturally, these different verticals have specific business needs as well as challenges.

Take for example, the fresh produce industry. It operates on wafer-thin margins, and faces procurement challenges almost on a daily basis. Then there are challenges related to demand forecasting, cost monitoring, food quality, supply chain alignment, etc. Or take the seafood industry, which grapples with challenges such as traceability, daily prognosis, slicing efficiency, food quality and safety, etc. Even for the bakery industry, the challenges remain unique, like inventory management and planning, reducing scrap percentage, managing Co & by products, etc. And the same goes for the meat & poultry industry, where food control & safety, managing numerous end products, short ordering cycles, and animal welfare & sustainability are concerns of paramount importance.

Then there are other challenges, which are common for all the different verticals, such as- shifting consumer demands towards natural & healthy products, need for constant innovation & sustainable manufacturing, fierce competition, and stringent regulatory requirements etc. To effectively address all these challenges, to beat the competition by developing cost-effective products, and to satisfy the customers by offering top quality products that meet their expectations, the food manufacturers need a tool such as a food beverage ERP software. Of late, they have become increasingly aware of the things a food manufacturing software can do for their business.

Food ERP software- indeed a recipe for success

Among the many things a food ERP software can do for a food manufacturing business, planning and managing the perishable inventory stands apart. Its planning and forecasting tools allow the food manufacturers to ensure they have enough inventory in stock to support the production, and avoid stock-outs. A food manufacturing software facilitates accurate demand forecasting using the historical sales data, trends and patterns of sales, and the food manufacturers can proactively adjust their inventory using this information. Additionally, through the ‘what-if’ analysis ability of its cost analysis module, a food beverage ERP software can closely monitor and control costs without compromising with the quality; accurately maintain the standard or estimated costs for management planning; and allow comparison between actual costs, planned purchase costs, and standard costs. Its specific capabilities like lot control, expiration dates, shelf life management etc., manufacturers can identify expired as well as soon-to-expire products, and thus minimize the wastage and losses.

Besides, through the food beverage ERP software’s Quality Control (QC) functionality, setting-up quality tests at different stages are easy. The QC module allows the manufacturers to receive, produce and ship products that meet customer and compliance requirements, and take immediate and counteractive action like destruction, return, etc., against the items that fail QC inspection.

It is a well-known fact that the food & beverage manufacturing industry operates in a highly regulated and controlled environment. One of the biggest reasons of the same is that major chunk of the food products that are exported across the globe come from the countries with lower health and safety standards, which is why the industry regulators push for stricter regulations and guidelines. Again, a food ERP software comes to the aid of food manufacturers, as it helps them meet all the local, regional, national, as well as international regulatory requirements, and cGMP norms; and record maintenance.

Additionally, it’s an important requisite for the food and beverage manufacturing industry to manage and track the safety of its products “from farm to fork”. A food manufacturing software aids in this regard as well. It comes with bi-directional lot traceability, whose specific capabilities such as end-to-end tracking and tracing of ingredients help the manufacturers track all ingredients back through the supply chain to the point of origin and vice-versa. And further, other capabilities like product recalls allow manufacturers to make speedy as well as accurate recalls if necessary. This swift handling of supply chain issues eventually helps manufacturers garner the trust of the regulators, and consumers, as well as protect their brand image.

Managing Recipes is yet another important thing a food ERP software helps with. It facilitates storing, retrieving, and revising every Recipe used in the business, besides managing the unlimited manufacturing instructions, and technical information such as quantity and cost in different units of measurement. Effective version controlling, automatic formula sizing, instant roll-back capabilities, anytime-anywhere material substitution, etc. are some other highlights of a food beverage ERP software’s formulation management module. Additionally, it also ensures that the multi-layered and extremely complicated production process is handled smoothly through effective management, tracking and control of all the production activities from batch creation, allocation, inspecting, quality checking, to finally full/partial closing.

Micro-verticalized approach- food for thought!

A food manufacturing software not just smoothens a food manufacturers’ routine manufacturing operations, but also provides support to co-product and by-product management, batch scalability, reverse bill of materials (BOM), flexible and dynamic packaging options, among other things. In fact it does a lot more. All a manufacturer needs to do is to identify the best food beverage ERP software and get it implemented, rather than opting for a generic ERP. In fact, different process manufacturing business verticals opting for a micro-verticalized food ERP software is the latest trend going around. For example, bakery, dairy, edible oil, and meat & poultry are all in the food and beverage business, but their processes are poles apart.

It doesn’t make sense for these businesses to opt for a generic food manufacturing software. What they need is a specialized software targeting their “micro-verticals”. We at BatchMaster have been serving process manufacturing industries successfully for over 30 years now, and what separates us from other software providers is our approach of focusing on “micro-verticals” within the broader vertical market categories. Our targeted software offerings cater to a wide range of industries within the food industry- such as seafood, bakery, meat & poultry, dairy, packaged food, organic food, fresh produce, chocolates, sweets, candy & confectionery, edible oil, beer, etc.

If you are into one of the above-mentioned food manufacturing business, or into paint & coatings, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, and personal care & cosmetics manufacturing business, visit our website, or write to us directly for more information about our software products.