The scope of the food manufacturing industry is vast, as the diverse and multifaceted industry is home to a number of sub-verticals which are a part of the fresh produce, beverages, frozen entrees and canned goods segments, among others. The industry, which is one of the largest in the world and biggest in the process manufacturing sector, also has a number of stakeholders, namely the industry regulators, industry operators like farmers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, suppliers, and last but certainly not the least – the end consumers. It will thus come as a shock to no one that the industry operators — predominantly the manufacturers — grapple with numerous challenges on a daily basis.
These challenges vary from operating on thin margins, dealing with the fickle customers, need for constant innovation & sustainable manufacturing, long & complex supply chains, to stringent regulatory & food safety requirements, and effectively managing and controlling the inventory that comes with limited shelf life. The presence of such ominous challenges compels the manufacturers to turn to a food ERP software, which propels them to develop cost-effective yet quality products, ensure supply chain transparency, improve profitability, and meet the consumer expectations as well as the food safety and regulatory requirements.
It is a food and beverage ERP software that has been helping the food manufacturers take on the present-day challenges. However, what happens when the food manufacturers cross the threshold into the future? Does the ERP software also hold the key to unlocking the future of food manufacturing? Let’s first see what the future holds for the food manufacturers:
The future of food manufacturing
The future trends in food manufacturing that have been revealed by various studies suggest that the food manufacturers are likely to go natural in future. This is mainly due to the pressure from the demanding consumers, who, thanks to their enhanced awareness levels, are likely to compel the food manufacturers to put greater focus on making products of top quality with nutritional and functional benefits.
The other trend likely to dominate the food manufacturing businesses in future is process automation. More and more manufacturers are likely to turn to it with an eye on increasing their operational efficiencies and customer order fulfillment. By doing so, the companies will basically transform their business processes in such manner that they require less human intervention and less human time to deliver. Use of more flexible machinery to efficiently run the production lines is one of the prime examples of automation, so is the use of robotics, and technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) to better manage production schedules, resources, labor and maintenance. This will not just increase the throughput, but also the quality.
Moving forward, another future trend the food manufacturers are likely to turn to is process digitization. This essentially involves reinventing the business processes, such as reducing the number of documents, developing automated decision making, dealing with regulatory issues in a hassle-free manner, etc.
How ERP unlocks the future?
A food ERP software’s formulation module provides recipe flexibility with batch processing capabilities and industry-specific Bill of Materials (BOMs). This supports reformulation, which means that the food manufacturers can, through material substitution, use healthier sustainable ingredients as substitutes to other raw materials. They can add protein, vitamins and antioxidants to food products, and label products as allergen free, and gluten free. This way, they can add more nutritional value to the products easily without compromising with their original formulation, and go “natural” and “functional” with their future offerings, to satisfy their customers’ needs.
Moving on to the automated way of functioning, organizations find it challenging to manage and coordinate the data, systems, and complexities generated by more automated tools first up. This is where a food ERP software scores big, proving to be the solution for all the growing complexities. It ensures that the food manufacturers have the right materials and machines available at the right time for projected production runs. It further ensures the suppliers meet the delivery deadlines, by keeping the organization connected to a network of suppliers that deliver on time. Through an ERP system, food manufacturers can successfully automate a number of processes such as procurement of raw materials and their maintenance, tracking of supplies that are purchased, maintenance and scheduling of the machines, etc.
Additionally, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled food ERP software offer easy way of maintaining the warehouses through robots, who ensure that the condition of raw materials is safe and there is no accumulation of products in the warehouse, besides monitoring the inventory levels. These robots gather the data in real-time and pass it on to the ERP system, thus ensuring smooth warehouse management.
Further, by combining their food and beverage ERP software with other enabling technologies such as IoT, food manufacturers can undertake process digitization. They can optimize their business processes by equipping the machinery and equipment at their plant with IoT sensors, which provide actual and real-time data on the efficiency, workload and schedules of the machinery. With this data, the company can then assess and improve the production process, use the resources effectively, remove all the process bottlenecks, and streamline the different business processes.
This way, a food ERP software proves to be a critical resource that can aid the food manufacturers in adapting to the future trends of going natural, and automating and digitizing the processes, thus proving to be the key to unlock the future of food manufacturing.
BatchMaster ERP for Food is the Key
One such modern food and beverage ERP software, which comes with all the aforementioned functionalities, and is truly the key to unlocking the future of food manufacturing, is BatchMaster ERP for Food. It supports innovation and a whole lot of other activities related to the future of food & beverages businesses. For over 30 years now, BatchMaster has been helping food producers make their businesses future-ready. So, gear up to transform your food business and get ready for the future with BatchMaster ERP for Food. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free demo or consultation.