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The Datacor Blog

6 Signs Your Legacy ERP System May Need to be Replaced

January 18, 2024 by Jinelle Cioffi

Many businesses in the food and beverage (F&B) industry rely on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to monitor their processes and help fulfil orders. It’s a vital tool that provides the oversight and reassurance they need to ensure the products they are shipping meet the required quality and safety standards and are delivered on time.

An ERP offers greater visibility into workflows and captures essential data that helps manage ingredients, keep costs down, and minimize mistakes.

Yet an inadequate setup can be more of a hindrance than a help. Legacy ERPs and outdated processes are hugely inefficient and waste users a lot of time, money, and effort.

That’s why we’d recommend you regularly reassess whether your ERP is up to the job. Is it keeping up with your growth? Does it still meet your requirements? Does it include the features you need?

In the fast-paced F&B sector with orders flowing in and inventory moving quickly, most companies recognize that they cannot be profitable – or even know if they're profitable – if they don’t have full visibility and control over what they’re doing.

In this article, Linda Bryan, Head of Food & Beverage Strategy at Datacor highlights the six telltale signs that you may need to consider a new, more capable ERP:

1. Components Are Not Integrated

In the F&B industry, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of having your software systems talking to one another. As businesses expand, it’s not uncommon for software to be added over the years, without any thought about how the systems can be properly integrated. This can be a big mistake!

Standalone software makes it almost impossible to accurately keep abreast of your inventories, see when and how orders have been processed, or spot mistakes before they happen.

Integrating your quality control and inventory systems, for example, is hugely important. It's not uncommon for companies to have a dedicated inventory system and another entirely separate way of monitoring quality control. This inevitably means unnecessary duplication of effort where information can quickly become outdated and can’t be accessed across teams in real time.

Before too long, mistakes will creep in – which could have costly repercussions regarding safety, customer relationships, and traceability.

2. Lack of Functionality

Datacor’s ERP provides users with an enclosed ecosystem where everything is instantly accessible. Raw materials, recipe management, plant maintenance, tracking, orders and invoices via an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)… are all in one place.

All this information is vital for a F&B business to be safe and successful – but without adequate software, it will be incredibly difficult to manage and oversee all these elements.

If your software doesn’t cater for your needs and offer this kind of functionality, it’s certainly worth considering an upgrade to an integrated system.

3. Are You Constantly Chasing Data?

Capturing all available data and using it correctly is imperative in the F&B sector. That means instantly having access to information about orders, customers, and ingredients. Without it, efficiency and productivity will be negatively impacted across your entire organization.

If this data is not conveniently available within a few button clicks, you’ll be wasting time and making mistakes. Your employees certainly don’t want to be chasing data either. By giving them the tools to do their jobs well, you’ll be boosting their quality of life and engagement – allowing them to get simpler tasks done more quickly, so they can put their skills towards more pressing issues.

4. Too Many Spreadsheets

Food processors are often the last people to automate their operations. Even some of the larger manufacturers still have to stay on top of reams of paperwork to keep track of their ingredients and sales. Others will rely on basic spreadsheet programs that aren’t specifically designed for what they’re using them for and can’t easily share data amongst teams or be integrated into existing systems.

Food & beverage is a pressure sensitive industry where accuracy is imperative. Relying on spreadsheets and manually inputting the same information into multiple devices is asking for trouble.

How can you possibly expect to accurately ensure you always have sufficient ingredients at hand to complete an order, let alone deliver on time? Spreadsheets just don’t offer the same capabilities as more modern software solutions.

With an effective ERP in place, tasks are far simpler and workflows are improved. Datacor ERP, for instance, lets you look back on past orders in a couple of mouse clicks, so you can instantly forecast the ingredients you’ll need to order for the next job.

5. Lack of Visibility into Real-Time Inventory

Inventory moves so quickly in the F&B industry that being able to access real-time data and get an immediate snapshot of orders, stock, and availability is vitally important.

When you receive a new order, you need to know you have the raw materials in stock to make whatever you need by the due date. Without the right software, you’ll have staff rushing around the warehouse trying to track everything down – and a lot of confusion.

Before those raw materials can be used, they may need to be tested and put on quality hold. Without an up-to-date ERP capable of managing the process, it can be extremely difficult to monitor their progress.

And what about checking the Certificates of Analysis (COA) and making sure you’re meeting the required specifications? Automation and tracking helps ensure you’re producing decent products and staying on top of it all.

Even rudimentary checks to make sure you’re scanning and picking the ingredients from your warehouse correctly or that you're shipping the right product to the right customer can be easily completed by using a modern ERP.

6. Are You Ready to Scale?

As your business grows, so do your software needs. Inadequate tools can cause chaos – and it’s just not worth risking your business or reputation.

How many times have you sourced software only for it to be out of date within a few months after purchase? What about discovering you’re missing a key feature that would make the lives of you and your staff easier? Have you needed urgent support from the vendor, only to receive little help and have to work through issues on your own.

Right from your initial setup, Datacor provides a complete solution that meets the very specific needs of your business. With regular updates, an ever-growing catalog of modules and add-ons, and seamless integration with your existing systems, you can rest assured that our software will grow with you.

Learn more about Datacor ERP or download this ERP Software Requirements Checklist to see if Datacor is right for you.

Topics: Enterprise Resource Planning, Datacor ERP, Food & Beverage


Jinelle Cioffi

Written by Jinelle Cioffi

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