ERP Software for the Food Industry

August 24, 2012
By guest blogger - Kate Kennett

ERP for Food

Food for Thought

Working with food can be a messy business where the food supply chain starts on the farm and ends on the consumer’s plate. In between this is the manufacturer who has to manage incoming raw materials, outbound deliveries, use-by dates and strict food safety regulations.

Juggling all of these requirements where profit margins are small can be quite tricky. Having effective food ERP software in place can help manage the many facets of the production line.

Food ERP software is enterprise resource planning for businesses working with prepared foods, produce, meat, dairy, baked goods and beverages. Food ERP software correlate and track bills of materials, invoices, planning and scheduling, quality control, cost management, manufacturing process, deliveries and product life cycle management, thereby allowing large supply chains to run smoothly and profitably.

Food ERP in the Cloud

Food ERP software that functions on the cloud runs in real time, making it easier to access and sort through data when needed, inform business decisions and generate top line growth.

It also helps to cut the fat, so to speak, of unnecessary data that slows down work processes. Having out-of-date and incorrect data could cost companies millions each year. Food inventory that has a shelf life is particularly at risk from out-of-date or incorrect data. Errors that concern stock that is perishable, where profit margins are narrow, could cause supply chains to go into negative spending.

While it is true that a general manufacturing and wholesale distribution software system helps to track inventory and plan production, food ERP software better meets the specific needs and challenges of the food industry.

For example, a food product may come into contact with one of the eight major allergenic foods and food groups, and by law, this must be declared on the packaging. This could be a major challenge for food companies to swallow because in 2011, the majority of product recalls was due to a lack of allergens being listed on the food label. A food ERP software system that tracks allergens in recipes and in the places in which the food is prepared and packaged helps to prevent product recalls and an erosion of profits.

By efficiently being able to plan and schedule the delivery of raw materials, production, packaging and outbound deliveries with food ERP software, food suppliers can better manage profit margins against the shelf life of the product, helping to improve the bottom line and ensure the production line runs smoothly.

Kate Kennett writes for Columbus IT, a top Microsoft partner and a leading consultancy and software developer of ERP systems and business enterprise software.

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