Operating in the food and beverage manufacturing industry has always been a tricky job. Here, the manufacturers face their unique set of challenges such as wafer-thin margins, cost reduction, long, complex supply chains, managing perishable inventory, and strict food safety & regulatory requirements.
COVID-19 has just made it trickier. The disruption caused by the lockdown affected the supply chains all around the world, affecting the commodity prices and changing the consumption pattern forever. The consumption reduced significantly, resulting in losses for the food and beverage manufacturers globally.
There were other implications too, with consumers beginning to explore more nutritious foods, prioritizing ones that support health and wellness, and seeking increased visibility into product sourcing and safety. As a result, the food and beverage manufacturers are now under greater pressure to offer safe, top-quality products and services, and maintain visibility into the processes, in order to lead a recovery.
In short, the food and beverage manufacturers are forced to change and improve the way they operate, and do more with less resources. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are helping food manufacturing facilities to run more smoothly and efficiently, and proving to be a critical tool in allowing better visibility and transparency into product sourcing and manufacturing.
ERP key for business resilience and market recovery
The pandemic is being predicted to have both short- and long-term implications for the food and beverage manufacturers, who clearly have a task at hand. They need to secure supplies, and assess and understand the risks in the supply chain, including the operations of their supplier’s suppliers.
With the consumers increasingly becoming aware and conscious about the safety of the food products, the manufacturers will also need to ensure they have quality control (QC), traceability, and inventory management tools in place, alongside a compliance tool to meet the revised/updated regulatory guidelines.
What makes an ERP software a crucial tool is the fact that it can be tailored around a specific industry, and its sub-segments. So, for food and beverage manufacturing industry, comprising of verticals such as bakery, seafood, packaged food, dairy, edible oil, fresh produce, and meat & poultry, among others, it means that meeting formulation-, QC-, and labeling-related requirements is easy, so is leading a business recovery.
No wonder more and more food manufacturers are moving to food and beverage ERP that are designed specifically to meet their unique business needs.
A research by ABI also testifies the same, forecasting that the food manufacturers’ spend on ERP will see a significant spike, reaching the figure of $14 billion by 2024.
How ERP does it?
The points mentioned below will give you a better perspective on how a food and beverage manufacturing software can help the food manufacturers meet their unique production and regulatory needs, and improve their business recovery planning. Read on:
Laboratory & Recipe management: An ERP for food and beverage industry not just manages complex recipes, which can be countless in number, but also helps streamline the product development process.
Lending support to the changing demand for more innovative, healthier alternatives containing ingredients that boost immunity in this changed scenario, ERP solution also expedites the development, production and placement of such products on the shelves before the competitors and makes the entire process a lot more efficient.
Supply chain management: COVID-19 has derailed the global food supply chains by exposing a major vulnerability in food manufacturing operations, which have traditionally been reliant on a single source of procurement.
But today, as the food businesses go back to the drawing board to plan their business recovery, a food and beverage manufacturing software is helping them make their supply chain more flexible, agile, responsive, and resilient by aligning it with the manufacturing, distribution, and procurement processes, and avert any future crisis.
Quality Control: The coronavirus pandemic has brought quality at the forefront. There’s a greater need for the manufacturers to maintain quality, safety, and hygiene of food products.
A food and beverage ERP software with its QC module helps put in place best practices for maintaining the quality of any material that comes in, and the finished good that goes out of the manufacturing unit, through quality checks at all stages.
Lot control & traceability: With consumers becoming keener on knowing every minute detail of their product, like where it comes from, what it is made up of, etc., a food and beverage manufacturing software’s lot control and traceability functionality comes to the manufacturers’ rescue.
With its help, they can accurately trace the data throughout the flow of production, make timely recalls, and maintain positive relationships with all the stakeholders- namely, the suppliers, consumers, auditors, regulators, etc.
Additionally, a food and beverage ERP software also facilitates generation of various production/nutritional labels on demand. With COVID-19 calling for renewed focus on eating right and natural, food ERP system’s role in ensuring the labeling and packaging are correct and gains greater significance.
Regulatory compliance: Regulatory bodies such as the FDA, EPA, OSHA, FTC etc. and other government bodies, have tightened the regulatory norms pertaining to food and beverage manufacturing post COVID-19. They’ve also enforced measures and practices to review firms’ previous compliance history.
The manufacturing guidelines have also changed, and wearing PPE kits, masks, conducting thermal screening, and having workplace sanitation rules etc. at the shop floor has called for having the ability to attach standard operating procedures (SOPs) and other special manufacturing instructions in the manufacturing industries such as the food & beverage manufacturing industry.
In this changed scenario, the food and beverage manufacturers need to invest in an ERP for food and beverage industry with a dedicated regulatory compliance module, so as to meet all the regulatory compliance requirements and follow GMPs.
E-commerce – ERP integration: With the COVID-19 outbreak, out-of-home consumption of food products has reduced significantly, while the at-home consumption has shown spike. Quite naturally, the businesses having fully-functional online stores have done well as compared to those who have relied only on the traditional ways of doing business.
Online shopping being on the forefront now, having an online portal has become an absolute necessity not just for B2C businesses, but also for the B2B businesses to stay connected with customers, suppliers, business partners, etc. Furthermore, integrating that e-commerce store with the food ERP software has become the need of the hour, as it helps food businesses deliver their products safely, faster, cheaper, and from anywhere, anytime.
Be prepared for a crisis; be capable of recovering, with BatchMaster ERP
The ongoing pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we humans are. Businesses are no different in this regard, and just like us, they too need to have a disaster recovery plan for themselves. Knowing how to lead recovery through the crisis, and having the right tools for the same at disposal, can help businesses become resilient and responsive to any future crisis.
An ERP for food and beverage industry such as BatchMaster ERP for food and beverages can prepare businesses to deal with the future crisis, and lend them the capability to recover from the ongoing one. Besides getting your business back in action, it can also help maintain employee morale, customer loyalty, and competitive position.
At BatchMaster, we have a team of highly-experienced industry experts that have implemented food and beverage manufacturing software solutions for different types of food manufacturing businesses across the globe. With us, you can stay assured of improving your business recovery planning, and meeting the specific requirements for your food and beverage manufacturing business. Write to us to learn more about it.