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Food and Beverage ERP Trends to Look Forward to in 2021

ERP for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

The year 2020 has been a bittersweet year for the food and beverage manufacturing businesses. While the first half of the year was nightmarish, with companies figuring out ways to handle remote work, disrupted supply chains, sudden changes in raw material prices, labor shortage, etc., the second half was about slowly and gradually recovering from the pandemic.

Their key companion during the arduous journey back to recovery was an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. In fact, majority of the food businesses got their tasks streamlined and optimized in these tough times with the help of ERP systems. And this trend of relying on the ERP systems will be witnessed in full force in 2021 too.

With the ERP software developing at lightning speed to accommodate the new technological trends, it will be interesting to see what trends 2021 uncovers, and how those trends have a bearing on how an ERP system is developed, implemented, and used by organizations and its resources.

But why’s an ERP so important?

Businesses who haven’t invested in an ERP software yet often throw this question. Exactly why an ERP is an integral and indispensable part of food manufacturing businesses, is what they want to know. Well, to begin with, a food and beverage manufacturing software enables companies to aim for zero downtime, improved resource functionality, and better process optimization.

Food ERP manufacturing organizations world over integrate into their IT setup to enhance operational efficiency, and process automation, and at the same time, better manage the data, finances, and other areas of the business. No wonder, to gain traction in the digital ecosystem, many food manufacturers are moving from their legacy software to newer ERP platforms.

An ERP report by Panorama Consulting Solutionshas revealed that 49 percent of the companies have reported improved business after ERP implementation. With such a terrific success rate, expect more food manufacturing businesses to turn to a food and beverage manufacturing software in the year 2021. But they need to be wary of the ERP trends to look forward to in 2021:

  1. Food safety & quality – Food safety & quality remained a hot ERP trend for all of 2020. People did not stop consuming food, but they became increasingly conscious about what they were consuming, what it was made up of, where did it come from, and was it safe enough for consumption. And with the COVID-19 pandemic still far from being over, this trend will spill over to 2021 too.A good food and beverage ERP will help the food manufacturers address their consumers’ anxieties in 2021. With its functionalities such as Quality Control (QC), traceability, and inventory management, a food ERP can allow the manufacturers set best quality practices, track & trace their products through the supply chain, and manage perishable inventory.
  2. Transparency and clean labels – In 2020, pandemic forced the consumers to demand for greater transparency, which put the food manufacturers under pressure to satisfy the consumers’ need for transparency as well as to showcase their brands’ commitment to quality. As a result, they turned to clean labels, showing larger serving sizes and nutrition information.In 2021, an ERP can help the food manufacturerswith the transparency and visibility it creates throughout the manufacturing process. It can offer them a platform to address the many different facets of the “clean label” by providing a comprehensive picture of the process, and facilitating informed decision-making on labeling products in an honest, appealing manner.
  3. Omni-channel competition – The year 2020 taught businesses that if they want to stay competitive in any market, they must look beyond single-channel operations. Post COVID-19 outbreak, consumers have given preference to a variety of channels to buy their food from, which calls for an omnichannel strategy on the business’ part, so that their products reach to the consumers through multiple channels.A food and beverage manufacturing software can be handy here, as it can provide a solid foundation for manufacturers looking to adopt an omnichannel strategy, which usually requires great control and understanding of distribution, and resource management. A food and beverage ERP software excels at it, proving to be an able ally for the manufacturers as they foray into omnichannel space.
  4. ERP integration with E-commerce – While we’ve mentioned about the omnichannel strategy being a key ERP trend in 2021, the e-commerce–ERP integration requires a special mention. With the COVID-19 outbreak the at-home consumption has shown spike, which suggests businesses can’t just rely only on the traditional ways of doing business anymore.Online shopping is on the forefront now, and having a fully-functional online store has become an absolute necessity for both B2C, as well as B2B businesses. No wonder the Integration of e-commerce store with the food ERP software will be a massive buzz word in 2021, as it will help food businesses deliver their products from anywhere, anytime.
  5. Convenience & accessibility – With the consumers being spoilt for choices due to the availability of enormous variety of food and beverage options in the market, it is convenience and accessibility that stand out as the differentiating factors. Consumers increasingly want food products packaged in a convenient format that allows them to consume them whenever and wherever they want them.Moreover, they want convenience & accessibility combined with health foods, probiotics, and more.Any good food and beverage ERP software can be of help in offering such products to the consumers, precisely because of its ability to provide a holistic view of an organization’s resources and practices. The ability to step back and see the big picture can be a vital tool for the food manufacturers, who can develop new ideas and disrupt markets.
  6. Niche ERP – Going into 2021, more and more food manufacturing businesses will look to move away from generic ERP solutions, and instead opt for niche ERP software that offer specific features and functionalities that are only intended for their specific industry. Such software are usually offered by vendors who have industry-specific knowledge.By going for a niche ERP, businesses can expect excellent assistance from the vendors while optimizing business processes, and with scaling in the future. So, expect businesses to opt for niche solutions that are better suited to their particular industry, for example, meat & poultry product manufacturers will opt for a meat & poultry software instead of a food ERP.
  7. Cloud & web applications – More and more food companies are opting for cloud- and web-based ERP solutions- a trend that’s likely to continue in 2021 as well. Businesses only pay for what they need, expand on demand, get excellent performance, and well-organized data security. This means the cloud trend will continue to make waves in 2021 too.
  8. Integration capabilities – Integration capabilities in a food and beverage ERP software will be in demand in the year 2021, as more and more businesses will look for ERP systems that can be integrated perfectly with other systems. Traditionally a standalone system, ERP has fast become the hub of an organization’s IT infrastructure connected with different other software as spokes.Examples of such systems include different tools for communication, and information sharing between organizational teams, warehouse management system, CRM, etc. In 2021, food manufacturing companies will not only focus on the new ERP system itself, but also look at how it fits within the rest of their IT infrastructure.

Conclusion

In 2021, food manufacturing businesses will continue to look for better and more efficient ERP solutions to stay ahead in the race. Food safety & quality, transparency & clean labels, omnichannel competition, ERP – e-commerce integration, cloud- & web-based applications, integration capabilities, convenience & accessibility, and niche ERP are likely to be the buzzwords.
An ERP which will keep businesses ahead during this transformational phase is BatchMaster ERP. Reach out at sales@batchmaster.co.in for more information, free demo, or consultation.

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Author

Sanjay Panjwani

I am Managing Director at BatchMaster Software India Pvt. Ltd., a leading vendor of ERP solutions in all the 7 continents. With over 30 years of presence in the ERP market & 1500+ customers situated all over the globe, BatchMaster is a mature organization of 200 plus employees.

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