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Why Food and Beverage Firms Need Complete ERP Solutions

Published on: Sep 30, 2020

The food and beverage market in Canada is evolving. As noted by the National Post, the country’s agri-food sector is quickly pivoting to address emerging pandemic expectations, while government funding initiatives are ramping up for provincial food processors to help them “improve food safety, increase labor productivity and enable better access to markets.”

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But even solid financial support and a willingness to adapt aren’t enough to drive food and beverage success without the right underlying infrastructure. To ensure upward market mobility, organizations need the full meal deal: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems capable of meeting on-demand expectations, empowering continuous development, limiting cost overruns and ensuring superior safety and solving supply line issues.

Delivering on Demand

What do consumers want? It’s a tricky question at the best of times, one made even more difficult thanks to evolving health and safety concerns. As a result, food and beverage firms can’t rely on what they’ve always done to ensure they meet customer expectations; now, they need the ability to discover data-driven trends and respond quickly to capture market opportunities.

Solutions such as Sage Enterprise Intelligence allow companies to bundle in BI capabilities with ERP systems, in turn delivering comprehensive market analysis and providing the KPIs firms need to quickly pivot if current production processes aren’t on track to deliver reliable profits.

Driving Continuous Development

Increasing product variety and accessibility drives changing consumer expectations. While customers may have some brand loyalty based on current offerings, firms that can’t keep up with new product formulations and variations will be quickly left behind.

But continuous development comes with a challenge: Complexity. As new recipes and formulas are developed and tested, companies need a centralized, accessible repository that both secure stores key data and allows staff members to view this data on-demand. For many Canadian food companies, the missing link here isn’t in-house expertise or a willingness to experiment but legacy ERP systems that can’t keep pace with emerging consumer demands.

Defraying Excess Costs

Unnecessary costs can derail predicted ROI, even if companies are doing everything they can to stay competitive and adapt to market forces. The problem? Identifying specific processes or policies that are causing cost overruns. With food and beverage firms now focused on staying afloat in a rapidly-changing market, it’s easy for small issues to become large money sinks and negatively impact overall cashflow.

Full-featured, cloud-based ERP systems can help synthesize and streamline financial data across intuitive, easy-to-use dashboards, in turn allowing production line managers to flag operational issues and financial controllers to dig down and discover how specific processes are impacting both speed and scale.

Deploying Safety Controls

Food safety is now top-of-mind for consumers and government compliance agencies alike. Customers won’t buy brands if they’re not completely confident of both process and end-product safety, while regulatory oversight is ramping up to ensure organizations aren’t cutting any corners to get products on store shelves more quickly. Reliable recalls are also critical — if specific items must be removed and reassessed, organizations need a way to track current recall efforts and ensure reporting shows complete compliance with federal or provincial directives.

Food and beverage ERP solutions from Sage Intacct simplify the safety process with traceability, recall management and allergen tracking tools that allow firms to act quickly and decisively if safety issues arise.

Defending Supply Lines

Supply chain fragility is a growing concern for food and beverage companies and pandemic realities rewrite the book on how, where and when inventory arrives. As a result, full-featured ERP solutions are critical here for Canadian firms to complete on a global scale. By deploying cloud-based ERP options, organizations can manage current supply lines, collaborate with international providers and stay compliant with emerging regulations — all while ensuring that production lines have the component capacity for profitable product output.

Finding Food Security

It’s no longer business as usual for food and beverage firms. While the industry has been steadily shifting to agile, cloud-based solutions over the past few years, current conditions make full-featured ERP a necessity for Canadian firms to compete both at home and aboard. From on-demand, continuous product development and delivery to cost reduction, safety response and supply line control, full meal deal ERP solutions can help business find food security and solve for sales concerns at scale.

About Us: IWI Consulting Group is a Sage Intacct partner with 20 years’ experience helping Canadian food and beverage, manufacturing, financial and professional firms implement and deploy top-performing Sage ERP solutions both on-premises and in the cloud.

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