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The Datacor Blog

What is Food & Beverage ERP Software? Key Benefits & Considerations

November 1, 2023 by Jinelle Cioffi

Transparency, traceability, and accuracy are all critical considerations for any successful food & beverage manufacturer.

In a fast-paced food processing environment, it’s vitally important ingredients can be tracked, production processes are controlled, inventories managed, and safety standards met.

That’s where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software comes in.

What is ERP for food & beverage manufacturers?

An effective ERP helps those involved in the food industry manage and monitor processes and boost productivity. By providing greater visibility into a company’s operations and workflows, costs are reduced, and data can be captured to make better informed business decisions.

“From a food and beverage perspective, an ERP supports manufacturers and distributors so they can operate their businesses more efficiently,” says Amanda Haley, Manager of Solutions Engineering at Datacor.

“It ensures the production of products occurs safely with controlling what raw materials are consumed for a product, finished goods meet product specifications, and manufacturing practices meet FDA regulations,” adds Haley.

An ERP also helps organizations improve supply chain requirements with the management of correct raw material inventory levels within facilities, based on multiple types of demand and finished good distribution to customers correctly based on specific customer requirements.

What kinds of business can benefit from a food ERP?

Ingredients suppliers, co-packers, contract manufacturers, and processors utilize Datacor ERP to control back-end operations in their business and automate workflows. The software offers all the tools and functionality needed by larger players, as well as supporting smaller businesses as they grow and scale.

“Organizations can scale and grow with Datacor ERP by improving scheduling, calculating nutritional fact panels, controlling inventory with warehouse management scanning, and electronic batch recording,” says Haley,

What are the benefits of a food ERP?

Selecting the right partner to support a software solution can help future growth while reducing unique challenges faced by food and beverage manufacturers. Production inefficiencies, low productivity, distribution errors, an over-reliance on paperwork and hiring more people to support growth are all key indicators that your business should think about introducing an ERP.

Here are just some of the benefits of implementing an effective ERP in the food and beverage sector:

  • Ease of use. An ERP provides complete visibility and real-time data so you can always understand and manage the entire manufacturing-distribution process. Intuitive and easy to use, teams will quickly see time and cost savings, and improvements in their day-to-day operations.
  • Always stay compliant. In the highly regulated food and beverage industry, it’s important to know you’re always staying compliant and meeting the latest rules and standards. ERPs monitor every part of the production process and can be used to flag any issues.
  • Greater visibility. Instantly know how a facility is performing from an operational perspective. Users can quickly and easily identify whether certain lines are producing better than others – and have the necessary insight to be able to adjust where necessary. With a more thorough understanding of where you’re seeing the best performance and efficiencies, it’s also possible to identify issues before they happen.
  • Control costs and profitability. Capturing data about ingredients and processes means you can stay on top of costs, make sure margins are adequate, and determine how to price your products.
  • Smoothly navigate nutritional calculations. When developing new recipes and food products, an ERP makes it easier to look at the nutritional calculations and determine the nutritional fact panel and labeling, based on FDA data.
  • Less waste. Maximizing efficiencies and use ingredients more effectively. That means less waste, higher yields, and lower costs.
  • Transparency & traceability. Tracking bad batches, isolating ingredients and products that are in quarantine status are essential in the heavily-regulated food sector. With cradle-to-grave lot tracking and full traceability, it’s far easier to stay safe and compliant.
  • Real-time inventory transactions. By utilizing barcode scanners throughout a facility, it’s possible to see exactly what's occurring with inventories in real time. With greater visibility into what you need to be buying from a supply chain standpoint, you can instantly see when ingredients are used in production and finished goods are shipped out to minimize inventory inaccuracies.
  • Software that grows with the business. Even if there’s already an ERP in place, businesses should regularly review their setup. Although the existing system may have suited their needs at the time, it may not be the solution to support their future growth. As a business grows and expands, you need an ERP that won’t struggle to keep pace with your success and still offers the features and functionality you require. Modern ERPs are continuously updated to support ever-changing business, customer, and regulatory requirements.
  • Replace manual processes and paperwork. Manual data entry and collection is prone to errors – and extremely labor intensive. An effective ERP digitizes workflows and automates processes, reducing the risk of information being mis-entered or even overlooked. The more manual processes organizations have, the more they tend to add people to control them. This exposes a business to risk and doesn't truly allow them to grow efficiently. Letting software take the strain rather than hiring more employees is far more cost effective.
  • Improve customer relationships. Having greater control over accounts and order fulfillment rules results in improved customer service and ensures orders are met on time, in full, every time. Better communication and service greatly reduces the likelihood of customer disputes and ensures long-lasting relationships.

Is your business ready?

Companies take months to properly introduce a new ERP into their organization which can become more complex with the number of business units, facilities, and users.

Careful planning is essential for a successful implementation. It’s important to have a good understanding of what your specific needs and requirements are. How do you typically go about your day-to-day business tasks and what do you want to improve?

Everyone involved needs to understand the effort required to make the project successful. This requires good leadership and a complete buy-in from the senior management team. They need to fully support the process for it to be effective.

Dedicate sufficient resources to the process and assign responsibilities to ensure a smooth transition from the old system to the new. Put together a strong team to oversee its introduction – ideally with subject matter experts from different areas of your business.

Above all, selecting the right vendor to partner with is key to making an ERP solution successful within an organization. With Datacor, implementation is not outsourced to third party consultants for support and technical help. Sales, programming, implementation, and support is handled by our dedicated team of experts, who are always on hand should you need assistance or training.

If you want to find out more about Datacor’s ERP and how it can benefit your food and beverage business, join our live webinar on Thursday, November 30th at 1:00 PM EST.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an integrated system that helps users control the back-end operations in their business, automates workflows, and provides oversight into how processes are performing.

Why is it an important tool for the food & beverage industry?
The food sector requires comprehensive controls over goods that are produced to stay compliant with FDA regulations and meet increasingly stringent health and safety standards. An ERP helps ensure quality products are made consistently and that batches can quickly and easily be tracked should there ever be an issue and a recall is needed.

Why choose Datacor?
Datacor’s market-leading ERP helps to unlock your business’ potential and boost productivity by providing a single source of control over manufacturing, formulation, quality, scheduling, lot traceability, and warehouse management. From onboarding to ongoing technical support, Datacor’s team of experts is always available for help and guidance.

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

Jinelle Cioffi

Written by Jinelle Cioffi

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