The ERP Checklist for Food and Drink Producers

Posted by Mark Ellis on Mon, Dec 11, 2017

Make sure you’re getting what you need from your systems with our ERP checklist, tailored to the needs of the food and drink sector.

Once you’ve decided that an ERP can help grow your food business, how can you be sure to pick the right system and get it working for you? This handy ‘insider’s checklist’ includes the main issues to keep in mind as you choose new software. You want to avoid needing another new ERP system in 5-10 years simply because you missed something out!

Generic or industry-specific ERP


New technology is driving growth across the food production sector, and Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) underpins growing numbers of effective production lines. Food producers can choose between generic systems designed to be sold into all sorts of industries, or a food industry-specific solution that is designed with in-depth needs in mind.

Action point – Do some homework across your sector to assess if you’ve truly found a capable food ERP system that won’t leave critical gaps you’ll have to plug with other systems.

Quality control


Maintaining excellent quality control and accountability is critical to modern industry. Will your ERP choice give you controls down to every action in production or the technical department? While it may be possible to customise or extend a generic ERP solution to incorporate some aspects of this, expect to increase costs and complicate implementation and maintenance of the system.An ERP built for your sector automatically collects the relevant information and makes it instantly accessible ‒ so third party add-ons should not be required.

Action point – For quality control and ROI from your software, check how far your choice truly extends into your production and supply chain at every stage.

Regulation and customer audits


With demands from regulators and customers changing more and more frequently, you need a system that is proven to keep pace. How proven is the system to enable efficient and profitable supermarket trading, and comply with today’s standards? A committed software author with a referenceable customer base of successful food manufacturers is a positive sign..

Action point – Prepare for unexpected events, like unannounced audits from supermarkets, by choosing an integrated system that gathers all your data in real time, in one place.

Food labelling


A capable food specialist ERP can automatically generate labels, using data collected during recipe development and production processes. The system will monitor how ingredients and raw materials are supplied, stored and used, so that the information is accurate, and minimising the scope for human error.

Action point – Make sure your labels are always accurate and contain all the necessary information, with automatic label generation.

Recipe and ingredient management


If your systems are disconnected, recipe and ingredient management can become difficult and confusing. A food industry ERP can control every aspect of the passage of ingredients through your factory, from the gate to their delivery into a commercial product. Pricing information is fully linked to recipe management and recipe weighing, so you can control recipe and production costs, including wastage.

Action point – Always manage how ingredients are sourced, stored and used in a coordinated way. Ensure only one version of the recipe exists, not multiple across systems

New product development


Software can make developing new products smoother, easier and less risky. The best solutions will analyse how similar lines to your new product perform, assess factors like seasonal variations in the market and forecast likely demand. An integrated package will connect to the supply chain, inventory and factory floor, to perform accurate calculations about cost implications. Then, when you’re ready to start manufacturing, it will collect data that helps measure efficiency so the operation can be tweaked, and productivity maximised.

Action point – Reduce the uncertainty in developing new products, with smart use of ERP software.

Data relevance


If you choose a generic system that isn’t properly connecting your business together, you miss out on the meaningful you need to drive effective decisions. The right ERP solution built specifically for the food industry, will capture information accurately in real time, and put it to work, helping you to optimise your production line and plan more efficient deliveries.

Action point – Collect data in a fully integrated way to transform your success.

Get the complete manual and discover all the advantages that food-industry ERP systems deliver

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Topics: Food & Drink